Thomas Hirschhorn Interview: Art is Necessary

“It’s an ideological decision. It’s not a sanitarian decision.”

Hear Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn in his vigorous defense for art and culture in times of crisis. “It’s up to us, artists and institutions, to say no. We need to fight!”

Thomas Hirschhorn, who right now is preparing the opening of his exhibition Community of Fragments at the renowned Kunstforeningen GL STRAND in the heart of Copenhagen, is astonished that both museums and cultural institutions accept too easily that they are closed down by their governments. “Shops are open because people have to get food. And museums are closed because we don’t need them?”

Art is necessary, Thomas Hirschhorn insists: “I think the message of governments all over is: It doesn’t count. In fact – and this is the harsh lecture – we have to understand: it doesn’t count, it’s not important, it’s just for fun. It’s for the weekend, like Disney Land.”

Thomas Hirschhorn (b. 1957) is an award-winning Swiss artist originally trained as a graphic designer. He is known for his ambitious projects in public space, and for projects which quite specifically involve the institutions where he exhibits, as well as the engagement of the public. This concept is also applied to the upcoming exhibition Community of Fragments, which will transform the traditional spaces of Kunstforeningen GL STRAND into an anti-architectural space:

Hirschhorn’s often political work has been shown at the Istanbul Biennial (Turkey), the Centre Georges Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo (Paris), documenta (Kassel), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich), McaM (Shanghai), Museo Tamayo (Mexico City), the Dia Art Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art (New York) as well as the Tate Modern (London). In 2011 he represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale.

Thomas Hirschhorn was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND in Copenhagen in February 2021.

Camera: Klaus Elmer and David Schweiger

Edited by Klaus Elmer

Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner

Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021

Images in the video are taken from Thomas Hirschhorn’s project L’art est nécessaire in front of his studio in Aubervilliers, France. Copyright: Thomas Hirschhorn.

Supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond.




Save This Post

No account yet? Register