Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh, Art/Life: (a.k.a. Rope Piece)

one year art life performance

Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh Art/Life: One Year Performance (a.k.a. Rope Piece), 4 July 1983 – 3 July 1984
The two were tied together by an 8ft rope but not allowed to touch for one year.

The contract, dated 4 July 1983, signed by the two artists stated the following:


We, Linda Montano and Teheching Hsieh, plan to do a one year performance.
We will stay together for one year and never be alone.
We will be in the same room at the same time, when we are inside.
We will be tied together at waist with an 8 ft rope.
We will never touch each other during the year.

The performance will begin on July 4, 1983 at 6 P.M. and continue until July 4, 1984 at 6 P.M.

This piece is one of many feminist performances in which a man and a woman are literally bound together. Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticicas Dialogue of Hands (1966), Abramovic & Ulay’s Relation in Time (1977) and Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti’s Before and After (2006) are three other examples. Binding in this piece and numerous others, becomes a metaphor women’s connectedness to others, their sense of themselves as being defined not just by other people but in connection to them.

Further Reading:

Grey, Alex and Allyson Grey, “The Year of the Rope: An Interview with Linda Montano & Tehching Hsieh”, High Performance magazine, Fall 1984.

Linda Montanos website.

Tehching Hsiehs website.

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  1. [...] one another around by handcuffs, or perhaps a piece of rope. And you might be art. Photo: Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh Art/Life: One Year Performance (a.k.a. Rope [...]

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