Writings by Thomas Hirschhorn, collected for the first time, trace the development of the artist's ideas and artistic strategies.
For the artist Thomas Hirschhorn, writing is a crucial tool at every stage of his artistic practice. From the first sketch of an idea to appeals to potential collaborators, from detailed documentation of projects to post-disassembly analysis, Hirschhorn's writings mark the trajectories of his work. This volume collects Hirschhorn's widely scattered texts, presenting many in English for the first time.
In these writings, Hirschhorn discusses the full range of his art, from works on paper to the massive Presence and Production projects in public spaces. "Statements and Letters" address broad themes of aesthetic philosophy, politics, and art historical commitments. "Projects" consider specific artworks or exhibitions. "Interviews" capture the artist in dialogue with Benjamin Buchloh, Jacques Ranciere, and others. Throughout, certain continuities emerge: Hirschhorn's commitment to quotidian materials; the centrality of political and economic thinking in his work; and his commitment to art in the public sphere. Taken together, the texts serve to trace the artist's ideas and artistic strategies over the past two decades. Critical Laboratory also reproduces, in color, 33 Ausstellungen im oeffentlichen Raum 1998-1989, an out-of-print catalog of Hirschhorn's earliest works in public space.
Thomas Hirschhorn (b. 1957) is a Swiss artist known for large sculptures and ambitious projects, often constructed of everyday, makeshift materials. Lisa Lee is Assistant Professor of Art History at Emory University. She is coeditor (with Hal Foster) of Critical Laboratory: The Writings of Thomas Hirschhorn (MIT Press, 2013). Hal Foster is Townsend Martin '17 Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and the author of Prosthetic Gods (MIT Press) and other books.