29. This Progress by Tino Sehgal, 2010
Tino Sehgal's 2010, This Progress is a game changer, a full-fledged different model of art-making, art-working, art-experiencing and art-selling. The paradigm shift has been building velocity over the last century (or two), so an ostensibly complete de-materialization of an art-object comes as a surprise, but not an unexpected one. This Progress ran at the well-regarded Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City where visitors were greeted by the building's iconic and unusually naked atrium, speckled only with, not paintings or sculptures, but guides, or "interpreters" as Sehgal calls them. The interpreters relayed guests up the spiraling ramp. Each leg of the journey, interpreters asked the audience questions related to ideas of progress. The first portion began with a child interpreter, followed by a teenager, and then an adult, with the work culminating in a conversation with an older person. All visitors to the work agreed neither take photographs, nor record the work. As one participant said, "What happened on the ramps stayed on the ramps." However, the most shocking part about this work is not necessarily the mode of its performance, but the way in which it is sold. There are no written instructions for the work, no receipt of exchange and no pictures, just a conversation and a handshake with the buyer.