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Nail & Wire (History of the Present Foucault)
Wood, wire, nails, adhesive tape, prints
250 x 125 x 7,5 cm
Inv. Nr. 29
Photo: Gallery Susanna Kulli, CH-Zürich, © VBK, Wien, 2011

Born in 1957 in Bern, Switzerland
Living and working in Paris, France since 1984

Thomas Hirschhorn has been known since the end of the eighties for his hypersaturated sculptural installations, which refer to politics, major figures in philosophy or poetry, globalization and pop culture. His work combines ordinary materials such as cardboard, found images and photocopied texts, mannequins and strip lights, bound together by rolls of parcel tape, which form absorbing and overwhelming environments that impact on visitors. His approach of sensitive topics through rickety aesthetics is often controversially received. Hirschhorn is fascinated by the nail-and-wire crafts for their spreading to the general public, especially in the sixties and seventies. According to him, this activity, which consists in stringing wires between nails to form geometric shapes, is an act of pure formalism that can be read as the core of a form of resistance by encouraging the production of a free act. His series Nail & Wire (2004-2005) is made up of twenty-five works with abstracts figures in wirework, associated with inscriptions cut out in the wooden frame such as political slogans (“Abolish the death penalty”, “It’s more than war”…) and multiple references ranging from the Sex Pistols to Arafat to Michel Foucault.