Skip to main content

Tim Etchells, Art Flavours (2008), video still. Photo credit: Tim Etchells.

Gasworks presents the first solo exhibition in a London public gallery by Tim Etchells, which brings together two works previously unseen in the UK.

Art Flavours reflects Etchells' interest in the encounter between different discourses and cultural frames, exploring the potential for communication and miscommunication between them. Produced for Manifesta 7, in Italy, Art Flavours sees Etchells organising a meeting between the Italian critic and curator Roberto Pinto and the ice-cream maker Osvaldo Castellari. Pinto was entrusted with summarising art historical practice through four main categories: The Body, Memory, Spectacle and The Archive. Castellari's role was to translate the concepts into four ice-cream flavours. The video shows the conversation between the two men in which the critic/curator attempts to convey the art historical themes to the ice-cream master, who for his own part grows more and more sceptical, anxious and daunted by the task ahead of him. As Etchells comments: "Staging an encounter between popular confectionery and art practice, Art Flavours plays with the possibility (and impossibility) of translating the academic/specialised language of the art world into new edibles for the public."

City Changes, the second piece on show at Gasworks, is constructed around a game of linguistic manipulation. Using the format of A4 documents, the piece consists of twenty text works displayed in sequence. Starting with a description of a city in which nothing ever changes, the following texts present evolving and often contradictory versions of the same city. Like a game of Chinese whispers, the initial representation is reworked and rewritten. The additions and deletions are made visible by a tracking of changes that shows different colours for each modification. As Etchells explains: "The evolving sequence of City Changes reflects my interest in the linguistic and narrative tropes relating to urban structures and city life. At the same time, the work playfully unpacks some of the political and emotional baggage carried by concepts such as change and chaos, stability and stasis. In its tracking of the transformation or mutation of a single text through numerous contradictory versions, City Changes also renders visible the process of writing itself, producing a complex colour-coded trace of the decisions, additions and omissions of each new incarnation."


Tim Etchells (1962) is an artist and a writer based in the UK. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, and is the artistic director of the world-renowned performance group Forced Entertainment. He has collaborated with a range of visual artists, choreographers and photographers and his work spans performance, video, photography, text projects, installation and fiction. He is the author of Certain Fragments (Routledge, 1999) and published his first novel The Broken World with Heinemann in 2008. He has exhibited widely in venues including MACBA, Barcelona (2009), Göteborg Biennial (2009), Art Sheffield (2008), Manifesta 7 (2008). He is currently Legacy: Thinker in Residence (2009-2010) at Tate Research and LADA in London. For more information see: and



TALK: Instructions
Wednesday 3 March 2010, 7-8.30pm
At Gasworks

Artist and writer Tim Etchells invites performer and writer Ant Hampton to discuss delegation and collaboration across different fields of practice. The two practitioners reflect on how different strategies for relinquishing control of the final outcome are embedded in their work and on their relationship to improvisation and incompleteness.