Friday, December 28, 2007

Star Tribune: Actress Sandra Oh impressed by Sehgal works at Walker

Sandra Oh was reportedly surprised to see Tino Sehgal works Thursday at the Walker Art Center. Star of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," Oh may have been drawn to Walker by the Frida Kahlo exhibit, the big draw, but as she discovered, there's lots of other stuff there, from Sehgal to the Brave New Worlds show.

Carissa Wyant, a professional fact and detail collector, e-mailed this to me: "While waiting in line to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit, my brother spotted Sandra Oh Thursday night. Wearing knee-high black leather boots, she was walking through the gallery with a scruffy, blond gentleman [The Hereafter drummer Andrew Featherston?], who neither of us recognized. She was met at the entrance to the exhibit by museum staff, who ushered her in. We waited in the hourlong line. I thought about pulling the 'Aren't I a celebrity, too' bit ... but apparently business reporters on FOX9's morning show don't carry quite as much clout. My little brother [Cody Wyant, an art history major at Bowdoin College] would have been mortified, I am sure."

A Walker insider told me that Oh saw a lot of art but was particularly excited about Sehgal, formerly an artist-in-residence at Walker, because she knew who he was.

Sehgal specializes in something called "constructed situations." He uses people at part of his art work, a conception of art that goes beyond its own materiality, it says at, which also noted that "Over the past seven years he has been known for making art without actually making any objects."

Another unusual aspect of Sehgal's interactive work was written about in a November New York Times piece by Anne Midgette.

The art of Sehgal, born in London and now living in Berlin, is "completely immaterial," wrote Midgette. It "can be bought and sold without involving any objects whatsoever. His work is specifically conceived to function within the art world's conventions; it is lent and exhibited, bought and sold. It is sold, in fact --now that Mr. Sehgal is becoming a star in Europe -- for five-figure sums. The only stipulation is that his pieces cannot involve the transformation of any material, in any way. No written instructions, no bill of sale (purchases are conducted orally, in the presence of a notary), no catalogs and (to the dismay of photo editors in the art press) no pictures."

I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate that Oh appreciates Seghal's quirkiness along with his art.

None of Oh's quirkiness was observed by reader Mark Nissen, who e-mailed this to me: "We were dining at Chambers Kitchen today and we swear we saw, Sandra O[h] get into a black limo. Perhaps others saw her here this week, too."

This, my first Oh sighting, immediately prompted speculation among my colleagues that Oh was in the metro to visit her "Grey's Anatomy" co-star T.R. Knight.

My guess is that T.R.'s probably on best friend Katherine Heigl's honeymoon. Heigl, another "Grey's" star, married musician Josh Kelley in Utah on Sunday. Oh and Knight (and have you ever noticed what a fast walker he is?) were among the celebrities in attendance at the nups, according to "E!"

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