Doppelgarage (2002)
Hirschhorn, Thomas

collection Pinakothek der Moderne, München, acquired by PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne
case researcher Maike Grün, Doerner Institut, München

This work negotiates between the fundamental categories of human feeling and action: violence and counter-violence, despair and revenge, guilt and humaneness. For this examination, the artist has chosen a location whose almost secreted seclusion forms the basis for free thoughts where, simultaneously, active work is also possible - a mixture of garage, workshop and hobby room. The Doppelgarage is both a space for practical life as well as a space for the development of ideas. The actual point of departure for Hirschhorn's Doppelgarage is September 11, 2001. The events of that day are a part of a complex story with numerous, partly overlapping strands of plot; the consequences of which are today still not foreseeable. The piece offers itself for reflection on this historical moment - without any dogmatism, without claims to validity and from a deeply personal perspective. Hirschhorn consciously employs ‘inferior’ materials as an adequate artistic means of expression. Doppelgarage consists of two walk-in units. In the first space, there is a hilly landscape collage made from newspaper clippings and adhesive tape on four tables, upon which model railways tirelessly move in a circle. The connecting second space, behind the first, is dominated by an object wrapped in gold foil, in the form of a cigar and reminiscent of a torpedo. Fragments of texts by the philosopher Marcus Steinweg quote and comment on Friedrich Nietzsche. Word, image and object expose the viewer to a flood of current-events in which collective and individual observations are superimposed. As a direct attempt to deal with history, the Doppelgarage reflects - as hardly any other work of contemporary art does - on the network of hierarchies and dependencies of our society at the beginning of the 21st Century in all of its openness and with all of its questions that arise through the proximity to temporal events.

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

Click download for:
— Installation views: 'Doppelgarage' at the Pinakothek der Moderne Munich, 2005 (PDF)
— Video clip: model train (MPEG)