Etchells practise shifts from performance to visual art and fiction and concerns itself with questions of contemporary identity and urban experience, our relation to fiction and the media, as well as with the limits of representation, especially in respect of language. Working across different media and contexts opens up new possibilities and allows him to approach the ideas by different routes, shifting perspective on the themes and experiences under investigation. In the last 6 years Etchells has created a body of work in neon and LED exploring contradictory aspects of language in playful and poetic ways.
"I’m drawn both to the speed, clarity and vividness with which language communicates narrative, image and ideas, and at the same time to its amazing propensity to create a rich field of uncertainty and ambiguity.”
Infiltrating galleries, street corners, shop windows, rooftops and other locations the sign works Etchells has made spell out simple-but-intriguing phrases, messages and instructions in neon and LED. Appearing to address the viewer directly through these works, he is interested to create moments of thoughtfulness and playful encounter in different settings of gallery and street, the work is public but private at the same time, trying to draw each person that encounters it into a space of intimate reflection.
For Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa in February, Etchells has chosen two existing neon pieces from 2012 - End of story and Fade to black - and installed them in locations in the building.
Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment. He is currently Professor of Performance at Lancaster University. In recent years he has exhibited widely in the context of visual arts, participating in biennales Manifesta 7 (2008) in Rovereto, Italy; Art Sheffield 2008; Goteborg Bienale (2009); October Salon Belgrade (2010) and Manifesta 9 (Parallel Projects) 2012. Recent publications include Vacuum Days (Storythings, 2012), While You Are With Us Here Tonight (LADA, 2013).