From October 16 to November 22 2009, DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art presents DHC SESSION, a new compact autumn programming initiative including an exhibition, evening event series and in-gallery reading lounge and education project. It has an annually changing theme and features Canadian premieres of international artists.

The inaugural DHC SESSION exhibition, Living Time, brings together selected documentation of renowned Taiwanese-American performance artist Tehching Hsieh’s One Year Performances and the films of young Dutch artist, Guido van der Werve. Both artists perform and document mundane activities such as walking, standing or following a schedule within constraints that question the human relationship with time and the nature of existence and survival.

Living time presents selected documentation works of Tehching Hsieh: One Year Performance 1980-1981 in which the artist, dressed in a pale grey worker uniform, punches a time clock every hour on the hour for one year and One Year Performance 1981-1982 which documents the artist spending a year living outside in New York City for one year. The documentation presented in Living time includes photographs, paper documentation and films.

Two films by Guido van der Werve are also included in the exhibition: nummer acht: everything is going to be alright (2007) in which the artist films himself walking slowly across the ice-covered Bothnian Gulf of Finland followed by an enormous icebreaker and nummer negen: the day I didn’t turn with the world (2007) where the artist, documented in time-lapse photography, stands on the North Pole for 24 hours turning against time.


Tehching Hsieh was born in Nan-Chou, Taiwan in 1950 and now lives in Brooklyn. Beginning in the late seventies, Tehching Hsieh made five One Year Performances and one thirteen-year plan. The singularity of mission and endurance required in the performances and his seamless simultaneous melding of art and life heralded a radical approach to contemporary art. His performances achieved critical acclaim during this period. With his last two performances he retreated from the art world. His meticulous film, photographic and paper documentation of his performances has been presented internationally since 2000. Extensive installations of his documentation were presented at the MoMa and Guggenheim, New York in 2009.

Born in Papendracht, Netherlands in 1977 and now a resident of New York, NY, Guido van der Werve pursued studies in industrial design, archaeology music composition and Russian language and literature at several universities in the Netherlands before beginning to create his first video documented performances around 2000. Since that time he has created a variety of works, including a series of film and videos and a musical composition titled by number in chronological order from two to twelve. He recently presented his new work, nummer twaalf (2009) at the MoMA and will be a participant in Performa 09.


Tehching Hsieh
One Year Performance 1980-1981, Punching Time Clock
Photograph by: Michael Shen
Copyright © 1981 Tehching Hsieh, New York