Hirschhorn, Thomas(1957)
works and lives in Paris

‘Art is a tool used to get to know the world. Art is a tool used to confront myself with reality. Art is a tool used to experience the time in which I am living’, said Thomas Hirschhorn, who studied at the School for Design in Zurich in 1978-1983 before relocating to Paris in 1984.
In the 1990s, Hirschhorn emerged internationally through his ’street altars’ for, among others, Ingeborg Bachmann and Otto Freundlich. For these ’altars’ he used low grade materials and an aesthetic that is similar to the anonymous and ephemeral memorials for victims of traffic accidents or assassination attempts. Part text, part sculpture, part junk-heap, he incorporated furniture, cardboard boxes, wooden frames and more. His baroque and often room-sized collages reflect on social, political, economic and cultural constellations.

Thomas Hirschhorn has exhibited at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999), the Art Institute of Chicago (2000), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2001, where he received the Prix Marcel Duchamp), Documenta 11, Kassel (2002), Tate Modern, London (2003), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, and Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (2005). He received the Joseph Beuys Prize, awarded by the Beuys Foundation in Basel in 2005.

TEXT Bernhart Schwenk, Curator of Contemporary Art, Pinakothek der Moderne; PHOTO Sibylle Forster, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2007