Francis Alys - Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing (1997)

Andy Goldsworthy
Lay Down as it Started Raining or Snowing
Waited Until the Ground Became Wet or Covered Before Getting Up
Tewet Tarn, Cumbria
5 March 1988

Andy Goldsworthy

Lay Down as it Started Raining or Snowing

Waited Until the Ground Became Wet or Covered Before Getting Up

Tewet Tarn, Cumbria

5 March 1988

Bas Jan Ader - In Search of the Miraculous (1975)

Bas Jan Ader - In Search of the Miraculous (1975)

Anri Sala - Long Sorrow (2005)

David Hammons - Bli-zaard Ball Sale (1983)

"The photos portraying Hammons with his neatly arranged rows of snowballs for sale are probably the most frequently reproduced images in the artist’s oeuvre. The piece has become iconic, the single ephemeral work – a work that is essentially about ephemerality – that has come to stand for his entire practice.”

Papo Colo - Superhuman 51 (1977)

Papo Colo - Superhuman 51 (1977)

Saburo Murakami - Passing Through (1956)

Daniel Turner - Burning Entire Body of Work (2006) - 35 Paintings & gasoline 

Daniel Turner - Burning Entire Body of Work (2006) - 35 Paintings & gasoline 

Ant Farm - Media Burn (1975)

The Phantom Dream car crashes through a wall of burning television sets before a cheering crowd at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.

Gregor Schneider

In 2008 Schneider caused an uproar by publishing an ad in search of a terminally ill person to be the star of his performance piece. The dying man/woman was to draw his/her last breaths in-gallery surrounded by spectators. 

"The head of the German hospice foundation that provides care for the terminally ill, Eugen Brysch, said: ‘This is pure voyeurism and makes a mockery of those who are dying.’ 

But Schneider argues that death is already undignified and that his aim is to restore its grace.”

Much as I like this piece, both of the above “arguments” are jaw-droppingly asinine. Death isn’t an institution and neither are the dying; and, “his aim is to restore its grace” is about as God-complex an agenda as I’ve ever read.

Septim themes