BODY AS MEDIUM: Spotlight on Performance Art

Feb 4, 2014 10:12PM

In 1967, Bruce Nauman filmed himself walking around the parameter of a square for ten minutes, calling his piece Walking in an Exaggerated Manner. In 2011, decades after Nauman’s performance, Terence Koh spent the duration of his five week installation at Mary Boone Gallery in New York circumambulating a pile of rock salts on his knees in an installation entitled Nothingtoodoo. In a review of the exhibition, Roberta Smith wrote, “He is performing a kind of abject penance that is hard to dismiss, even if you may initially want to; it is too quiet, unsettling and self-effacing.”

In Koh’s piece entitled, 4’26”, the artist investigates the body as he moves around a white room, only wearing a pair of black leather boots. The result is an enticing series of video stills, which invite the viewer into a seemingly private scene. The stills evoke Eadweard Muybridge’s 19th century motion studies, featuring a set of mysterious parts that add up to a whole action, and the title refers to John Cage’s silent symphony, 4’33” (1952).

View work by Terence Koh as well as that of other contemporary artists in our 90s to Now online-only sale, running from 6 – 20 February 2014.

(Image courtesy of