Thomas Hirschhorn

Thomas Hirschhorn

Show Me Your Phone

“They’re the last people who fight for the public space.” Artist Thomas Hirschhorn pulls out a photo from the treasury of his phone and reveals how sharing a public area with a group of alcoholics inadvertently changed one of his projects.

“It reminds me of this very fragile contact you can have with somebody who is a non-exclusive audience, and who perhaps finds a way to engage with you in a very precarious co-existence.” Hirschhorn did a project in a public space in Wiesbaden, Germany, and as it turned out, this site was also a hangout for a bunch of “hard-core drinkers” – one of these being the young man Fabian. The project involved the usage of letters written on t-shirts, and Fabian soon started to interact by insisting that they add the letter ‘F’ (for Fabian) to the project.

Thomas Hirschhorn (b. 1957) is an award-winning Swiss artist, who originally trained as a graphic designer. His often political work has been shown in prominent museums and venues such as the Istanbul Biennial, the Centre Georges Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris, documenta in Kassel, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Tate Modern in London. In 2011, Hirschhorn represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale. He lives and works in Paris.

Thomas Hirschhorn was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg at Kunsthal Aarhus, Denmark, in January 2017.

Camera: Mathias Nyholm
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Julie Nord

    The Power of Drawing

    “It’s the closest you get to silence – or skin. There’s so little between me as an artist and my material.” Artist Julie Nord here shares her attraction to the "no bullshit" of drawing. Visit her studio and take a peek at how she makes her surreal, fairy tale-like drawings.

  • Nina Saunders

    A Cultural Warrior

    Meet artist Nina Saunders who plays with the familiar by twisting it in surprising ways. She here discusses her humorous yet disturbing work – made from discarded upholstered furniture and stuffed animals – which comments on our world.

  • Erica Jong

    Sexuality and Creativity

    “The urge to create and the urge to copulate are very close.” Watch the iconic feminist writer Erica Jong speak candidly of being fuelled creatively by desire, her experiences as a female writer and what she has come to realize about men.

  • Karl Ove Knausgård

    On 'Madame Bovary'

    “This controlled perfection, that I usually don’t like, elevates it.” Karl Ove Knausgård – author of ‘My Struggle’ – here shares his love of the classic novel ‘Madame Bovary’ by Gustave Flaubert, which he has read three times at different stages of his life.

  • Günther Uecker

    Advice to the Young

    German artist Günther Uecker (b. 1930) – one of the most prominent members of the ZERO Group – here stresses the importance of not adhering to the conventions of society, but to follow one’s own voice: “Don’t rush to the guillotine, assert yourself first.”

  • Günther Uecker

    Poetry Made with a Hammer

    “We need images to cross the boundary of the unutterable.” The moving story of Günther Uecker – a legendary German artist, who expresses his artistic belief by means of a hammer and nails, thus reflecting his dark experiences from World War II.

  • Sambuichi

    Sun, Water and Air

    Travel through an enchanting sea of light and darkness orchestrated by the praised Japanese architect Hiroshi Sambuichi. He here shares his thoughts behind the wondrous water and light installation set in an old underground water reservoir.

  • Orhan Pamuk

    Do Not Hope for Continuity

    “I ran away, but I returned, and I will continue to tell its story. It’s natural that I write about it because this is the best place I know.” Watch Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk in this interview about his relationship with Istanbul – now and then.

  • Thomas Hirschhorn

    Show Me Your Phone

    “They’re the last people who fight for the public space.” Artist Thomas Hirschhorn pulls out a photo from the treasury of his phone and reveals how sharing a public area with a group of alcoholics inadvertently changed one of his projects.

  • TAL R :

    Shortly before he turned fifty, we had the unique pleasure of spending six months with Danish artist Tal R, while he was in the process of making his grand series of nine enormous railcar-paintings, ‘Habakuk’. Watch the intimate and biographical film.

  • Leonardo Padura

    Literature, Cinema and Baseball

    In-depth biographic interview with Leonardo Padura on how baseball was his first true love – and why he doesn’t want to be too local in his writing: “I am a Cuban writer who writes about Cuba, and I try to have a universal perspective on events.”