Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9781512601633 Published March 2018
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781512601626 Published March 2018

Thomas Hirschhorn

A New Political Understanding of Art?

Christina Braun

Thomas Hirschhorn

Christina Braun

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

232 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9781512601633 Published March 2018
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781512601626 Published March 2018
Thomas Hirschhorn, a leading installation artist whose work is owned and exhibited by modern art museums throughout Europe and the United States, is known for compelling, often site-specific and interactive environments tackling issues of critical theory, global politics, and consumerism. His work initially engages the viewer through sheer superabundance. Combining found images and texts, bound up in handcrafted constructions of cardboard, foil, and packing tape, the artworks reflect the intellectual scavenging and sensory overload that characterize our own attempts to grapple with the excess of information in daily life. Christina Braun, the first to compile and systematically analyze the extensive source material on this artist’s theoretical principles, sheds light on the complicated yet constitutive relations between Hirschhorn’s work and theory. Her study, now translated into English, makes a major contribution to the study of contemporary art.
Contents
Acknowledgments • INTRODUCTION • Objectives and Structure • On the Sources • On the Current Status of Research • On the Method • PART 1: THE ARTIST’S THEORY AS A SOURCE AND OBJECT OF ANALYSIS • The Phenomenon of Artists’ Theories: A Historical Outline • Forms and Functions of Modern Artists’ Theories • On the Concept of the Artist’s Theory • The Platonic Topos of the Irrelevance of the Artist’s Theory • Four Theses on the Artist’s Theory as a Source and Object of Analysis • PART 2: AN INTERPRETATIVE PRESENTATION OF THE ARTIST’S THEORY • Formal and Rhetorical Stylistic Means • Characteristics and Function • Hirschhorn’s Understanding of Art: Central Concepts and Ideas • The Formation of Hirschhorn’s Theory in the Context of His Evolution as an Artist • PART 3: ANALYZING THOMAS HIRSCHHORN’S ARTIST’S THEORY • On the Iconography of Material • Critical Notes on the Process of Production • Hirschhorn’s Aesthetic-Political Concept of Work • “Constructing the Unconstructible”: “The Spirit of Utopia” in Thomas Hirschhorn’s Theory • Hirschhorn’s Elective Affinities: Genealogical System or Ingenious Self-Stylization? • Conclusion • Appendix • Notes • Bibliography
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