Paul Schmelzer over at The Walker Museum’s audio blog has interviewed one of my least favorite artists Thomas Hirschhorn. Currently on display at the museum is Cavemanman, an installation some of you may remember seeing a couple years ago when it was displayed at Barbara Gladstone Gallery. The piece is a series of elaborate tunnels made out of cardboard and packing tape, that displays books and cut out pages of seminal texts by Noam Chomsky, Bataille, Focault etc.
I don’t want to sound anti-intellectual but I’ve always disliked the inclusion of scholarship in this work, because nothing interesting is done with it other than to display the fact that the artist is aware that these people are important. Thankfully Hirschhorn doesn’t lecture us about the greatness of these scholars, and when asked about whether the work is a means exploring ideas he cares about he responds “…I'm a part of this unclarity in the world. I see as one of my missions as an artist to work in this unclarity, to work in this chaos. Not to bring clarity, not to bring clearness, to struggle with the chaos. To struggle with what's around me.”
So Hirschhorn isn’t a completely pompous asshole, even though there isn’t anything particularly engaging in the set of ideas he’s working with. I’m still not interested in his work, but at least the podcast doesn’t give me any more reasons to hate him. I guess that’s something.