YES or NO

Thomas Hirschhorn interviewed by Claude Closky, May 2003

All the questions come from comments recently published about the work of Thomas Hirschhorn.

Translated by Simon Pleasance

Were you born in 1957?

 YES
 NO

Do you live in Aubervilliers, near Paris?

 YES
 NO

Do you make sculptures?

 YES
 NO

Installations?

 YES
 NO

Do you use poor materials, adhesive tape, cardboard, pictures cut out of magazines, and sheets of plastic and aluminium to make your works?

 YES
 NO

Do you put photographs cut out of newspapers and writings with ball-point pens side by side?

 YES
 NO

Is the source of your inspiration the practice of outcasts who send messages by using what they find to do so?

 YES
 NO

By using a valueless material, are you advocating a miserabilist aesthetics?

 YES
 NO

Are you developing an imagination of recycling?

 YES
 NO

Are your presentations of documents rhetorical?

 YES
 NO

Baroque?

 YES
 NO

Are you trying to sidestep the traps of erudite art?

 YES
 NO

Is there in fact a concern for proportion and balance hiding behind the intentionally poor and improvized form of your works?

 YES
 NO

Do you reject all technical virtuosity?

 YES
 NO

Is your approach part of a spiritualist and messianic tradition stemming from romanticism?

 YES
 NO

Or does it follow the reflective and critical path ushered in by Marcel Duchamp?

 YES
 NO

By way of collages, videos and sculptures, are you developing a figure of stupidity as a form of commitment?

 YES
 NO

Do you ask naive questions to put the human condition into perspective?

 YES
 NO

Do you want to address a message to the broadest of audiences, beyond the comfortable setting of cultural venues?

 YES
 NO

Do you have a "social mission"?

 YES
 NO

Do you try to meet people who are still too uninitiated in the different messages of today's art?

 YES
 NO

Do you present your works in places where people do not expect to see a work of art, at a bus stop, beside a telephone box, a cash dispenser, etc?

 YES
 NO

Do you work against injustice?

 YES
 NO

On the educational and moral role of art institutions?

 YES
 NO

Do you ever exhibit in the public place under the sponsorship of major art institutions?

 YES
 NO

Can speaking out against forms of inequality have an impact on the public when it is orchestrated under the aegis of a great institution like Beaubourg?

 YES
 NO

Isn't this like getting involved in a marketing operation promoting the institution which wants to revamp its image by claiming to undertake hands-on work accessible to every kind of public?

 YES
 NO

Does this outgrowth of the society of the spectacle round off the general anaesthesia of our culture and our critical sense?

 YES
 NO

Is commitment a budgeted tool which lends a little spice to the art world?

 YES
 NO

Can the artist's political position have an influence on the future development of society?

 YES
 NO

Does the artist play a role so that social imbalances can be denounced?

 YES
 NO

Do you want to take on this role?

 YES
 NO

Is your commitment above all political?

 YES
 NO

Can you be likened to a CEO?

 YES
 NO

To a fighter?

 YES
 NO

Do you celebrate the heroism of art history?

 YES
 NO

Do you show the difficulty of devising an extension of the models of the historical avant-gardes since these had to deal with Nazism and the other forms of 20th century totalitarianism?

 YES
 NO

Do you want to galvanize the public around our collective memory so as to carry on the fight against all forms of oppression and alienation?

 YES
 NO

Are your sculptures acts of reparation and redemption aimed at protecting us against the inhumanity of the capitalist civilization in which we are living?

 YES
 NO

Do you choose profusion as opposed to the "less is more" slogan which lays claim to the singularity of the artwork?

 YES
 NO

Through this saturation which disconcerts the eye, are you expressing your disorientation in the face of an incoherent and violent society?

 YES
 NO

Do you feel you're being intellectually taken hostage, drowned in a flood of contradictory information and viewpoints?

 YES
 NO

Do you think that contemporary society has reduced the individual to a commodity?

 YES
 NO

Do you attribute a fleeting fate to your works?

 YES
 NO

Are they diametrically opposed to the monument?

 YES
 NO

Are they provocations?

 YES
 NO

Do you use philosophical references in the guise of materials, like adhesive tape?

 YES
 NO

Do you think that knowledge is alienating?

 YES
 NO

Do you want to shake up this sterile world?

 YES
 NO

In order to exist, must a work be the manifestation of an act that is banned in the city?

 YES
 NO

Is the artist condemned to act in places on the fringes of validating authorities?

 YES
 NO

Is the artist a dropout?

 YES
 NO

A leader?

 YES
 NO

An escort?

 YES
 NO

A worker?

 YES
 NO