Thomas Hirschhorn: Théatre Précaire

Thomas Hirschhorn is a Swiss artist who is known for his sprawling works that transform traditional white cube spaces into absorbing environments tackling issues of critical theory, global politics, and consumerism. He engages the viewer through superabundance. Combining found imagery and texts, bound up in low-tech constructions of cardboard, foil, and packing tape, he props imagistic assaults in a DIY-fashion that correlates to the intellectual scavenging and sensory overload designed to simulate our own process of grappling with the excess of information in daily life. Created from the most basic everyday materials, his monumental works are concerned with issues of justice and injustice, power and powerlessness, and moral responsibility. Thomas Hirschhorn’s sculptural constructions and environments are famous for transporting knowledge and information by alienating the usual means of presentation and skewing our perspective on things. To achieve this, Hirschhorn frequently favours elaborate, expansive installations, seemingly chaotic structures that use everyday materials that are nonetheless symbolically charged. Hirschhorn’s spatial assemblages are skilful stagings of the imperfect, wild associative landscapes whose energies are intended to inspire thought, as Hirschhorn himself stresses: “I don’t want to make interactive art, I want to make active art, work that activates the brain.” The result are installations where the beholder has to engage with signs, symbols, and memories, and which change our perspective on the possibilities of art and life.