NATIONWIDE: The Spalding Gray National Consortium has named Tim Etchells the recipient of the 2016 Spalding Gray Award. The prize includes a $20,000 commission to create a new work, and the new work will receive full productions by each organization in the Spalding Gray National Consortium: Performance Space 122 in New York City; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh; and On the Boards in Seattle.
“Tim Etchells is an artist that certainly embodies the essence of the Spalding Gray award, in terms of being a ‘fearless innovator of theatrical form,’” said Ben Harrison, curator of performing arts and public programming at the Andy Warhol Museum, in a statement.
Etchells, the artistic director of the performance group Forced Entertainment, is known for his solo, text-driven works. His work uses video, photography, installation, and fiction. He is currently a professor of performance and writing at Lancaster University in Pennsylvania. With the Spalding Gray commission, he will create a new performance piece, Real Magic, with Forced Entertainment about the traps we live in and the possibilities of escape.
“Across the range of my work, I use strong, simple, sometimes comical means to get to serious ideas,” said Etchells in a statement. “My practice 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 me to approach the ideas that interest me by different routes, shifting my perspective on the themes and experiences I want to investigate.”