Tim Etchells: In the interests of time: fragments on performance and writing

Since the mid-1980’s I’ve produced a body of artistic work in performance, much of it in my role as artistic director of the ensemble Forced Entertainment, as well as working in diverse other forms and contexts from art works in gallery and public space to experimental fiction short and long form. Alongside (or through) this creative work I’ve produced a parallel body of critical writing, speculation and inquiry which both examines and reflects on the work itself, as well as transposing and reimagining its formal and artistic strategies for the context of academic discourse. My interest is in producing the kinds of insights and knowledge that can be generated through non-conventional approaches to discourse, specifically working via performative approaches and through an exploration of collage, fragmentation, inter-textuality and the dynamic relationship between fiction and discursive material. The lecture performance In the interests of time slips between discursive and poetic modes and enacts a kind of doubling of my approach. It’s a text that reflects on the creative work and process in different contexts across several decades, as well as a reflection on the act of reflection itself and an exploration of the strategies I’ve developed at different moments to engage with the creative work.


Tim Etchells (b. 1962, UK) is an artist and writer based in the UK whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. Living and working between London and Sheffield, he has produced major commissions for public space internationally and has been presented in museums, galleries, biennales and fairs, including: Tate Modern, Hayward Gallery, Gasworks, and Bloomberg SPACE, London, UK; Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK; BALTIC, Gateshead, UK; Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, UK; Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna, AT; Kunstverein Braunschweig, DE; Kunsthalle Mainz, Mainz, DE; Jakopič Gallery, Ljubljana, SI; Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, PL; Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone, UK; Gotenburg International Biennale, SE; Manifesta 7, Rovereto, IT; Frieze Sculpture, London, UK; Perf4m ARTISSIMA, Turin, IT; and FIAC, Palais De Decouverte, Paris, FR. Etchells 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 & Writing at Lancaster University. Tim’s collection of short fiction Endland is published by And Other Stories, 2019. Etchells’ work is held in private and public collections internationally. His performance work ‘Moving Words’ (2019) was recently acquired by Tate, UK.