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CASE STUDY

Undocumented

Tino Sehgal's Troubles with Copyright

By Chin-Chin Yap

Two figures embracing on the gallery floor—what legal rights does an artist have to a piece that has no permanent, physical form? 

Photo illustration by Alis Atwell / ArtAsiaPacific. Photo by Allison Schulte.

In June 2008, the Museum of Modern Art in New York purchased Tino Sehgal’s Kiss (2003) for a five-figure amount. No papers were signed, no artwork was delivered; instead, a purchase contract was orally concluded in the presence of a notary. What museum visitors will see when MoMA exhibits the Kiss

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