Tehching Hsieh

One Year Performance
1981–1982, 1981–1982 (2021)

Performance documentation: poster, statement, daily map, four black-and-white photographs, Super 8 film transferred to DVD (color, sound, duration 31’ 50”), dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

In his third year-long performance, produced from September 26, 1981 to September 26, 1982, Tehching Hsieh spent twelve months on the street, without entering any buildings or covered spaces (such as cars, trains, boats or tents). He lived on the streets of New York with a sleeping bag and a backpack.

Hsieh produced five one-year performances. For the first one, Cage Piece (1978–1979), he pledged to spend one year in a self-made cage inside his own home. A lawyer notarized the process and made sure Hsieh did not leave the house, read, speak or watch TV. In one of the most challenging of his durational works, Rope Piece (1983–1984), he spent a year tied to performance artist Linda Montano, with the two not allowed to touch each other. On his 36th birthday (December 31, 1986), Hsieh announced a fourteen-year plan, declaring, “Will make Art during this time. Will not show it publicly.” On January 1, 2000, he issued a concluding report, “I kept myself alive. I passed the December 31, 1999.” After that project, Hsieh “retired” from art.