Thomas Hirschhorn

Thomas Hirschhorn

A World of Collage

Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn juxtaposes pixelated images from the media. His works are not about technology, says the artist: “I try to give form to what I can’t accept: that someone else can decide for me what I should do, see or think.”

Hirschhorn is not interested in the technology behind pixels, but in the growing use of pixelisation in the media. Pixelisation, the artist explains, is used to blur images – a technique used by authorities or the media in order to control what is appropriate to see. Although often done to spare the viewer of atrocities, the censorship of pixelisation “takes away my own sensitivity,” says Hirschhorn. “What is gruesome today is that all this violence happens every second, every day, every month, every year. Not that we have to look at it.”

The collage technique is fundamental to Hirschhorn’s work, even when working in three dimensions. “I like the stupidity, the velocity, the ease of making collages,” explains the artist. “I see life as a possible collage, with the gaps, the breaks and sometimes with the glue you need to put things together.” It is a medium that is always imperfect because “something inside the collage is already broken.” By using different materials Hirschhorn attempts to “create a new world with the existing world.”

Cardboard, duct tape and plastic bags are staple materials of Thomas Hirschhorn’s work. Everyday, low cost materials that mirror Hirschhorn’s aim to reach, not only museum directors, galleries or art lovers with a trained eye, but “strangers, passers-by, and people from other cultures.” There is a democratic streak to Hirschhorn’s work: “It’s important as an artist that I try, in all the decisions I make, that my form goes to this kind of public. The people I don’t know, the people I’m afraid of.”

Thomas Hirschhorn (b. 1957) is an award-winning Swiss artist originally trained as a graphic designer. His often political work has been shown at the Istanbul Biennial, Turkey, the Centre Georges Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, dOKUMENTA, Kassel, Germany, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA and the Tate Modern, London, UK.

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 Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2017

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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