International 2012 Archives
Produced originally for the 1999 Venice Biennale and presented in 2000 at The Renaissance Society, Chicago, Thomas Hirschhorn’s installation Flugplatz Welt/World Airport occupies at Mudam an entire gallery space. Over an area of more than 400 square meters, the Swiss artist installed an incredible number of objects reminiscent of an airport.
One finds not only the runway, the planes in the colors of various airlines, the control tower, and the typical neon airport lighting: Hirschhorn also adds numerous other elements, such as gigantic silver spoons, altars with known-
Exhibition November 21, 2012 -
Hirschhorn’s installations are conceived as collages, immense heterogeneous and complex assemblages that invade the place where they are presented and put it under tension. As he explains, his “two dimensional thoughts” are thus translated in space “to remain in reality.” The choice of everyday, “precarious” materials, in opposition to noble, “exclusive” materials (which exclude, in the literal sense of the term), is part of his strategy of not placing a barrier between the artwork and the viewer and of creating a direct relationship of equals. Rejecting the idea of an aesthetic and sanctified presentation, too elitist according to him, he aims to breathe energy which helps establish a dialogue with the artwork. Hirschhorn believes in the autonomy of art, effacing himself from this dialogue with the viewer. The disordered profusion of elements and the overabundance of information in his artworks become a mirror of reality and push visitors to orientate themselves by their own.
Flugplatz Welt/World Airport deals with the determinant question of globalization and its collateral, often paradoxical effects: “Macro-
Certain elements provide however guidelines of reflection: the altars represent specific dimensions (spirit – body – soul), the assorted books invite reading, while the silver spoons are meant to be an ironic reflection of the expression according to which some are born with them in their mouths. All this traces a demarcation line in this globalized and interconnected world which decides between winners and losers.
Flugplatz Welt/World Airport is not however an overtly political artwork in the sense that it doesn’t take a position and, because of its plethoric nature, denies any explicit and singular reading.
Thomas Hirschhorn was born in 1957 in Bern, Switzerland. He lives and works in Aubervilliers, France.
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved