thomas hirschhorn's installation 'flugplatz welt/world airport' exhibits at mudam, luxembourg

12 December 2012

Thomas Hirschhorn's installation 'Flugplatz Welt / World Airport,'which occupies a whole room of the Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, dates from 1999 and was originally produced for the Venice Biennale. 'Flugplatz Welt / World Airport' deals with the question, so determinant today, of globalization and its collateral, often paradoxical effects: "Macro-isolation, selfisolation, and particularities - ethnic, religious, social, linguistic, cultural... - local divisions, regional and private wars, war lords all tend to separate one entity from another. 

The Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn installed an incredible number of objects reminiscent of an airport over an area of more than 400 m2. 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-brand shoes, as well as panels on which a profusion of newspaper cuttings evoking a highly varied range of subjects are displayed. These diverse elements were made of inexpensive materials (one of the hallmarks of his work): foils, maps, cardboard and adhesive tape used in abundance, completed with utilitarian objects such as chairs, suitcases and screens.

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 æsthetic 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 themselves.

The exhibition runs until 26 May 2012


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