TransArts - Thomas Hirschhorn: Robert Walser-Skulpture

With this lecture on the “Robert Walser Sculpture”, the work in public space I/we completed last year alongside residents of the city of Biel/Bienne, I want to explain in my own words what I gained from this complex and difficult, yet incredibly beautiful experience.

Meeting-ID: 921 9410 5244
Kenncode: 353994

For myself, my work on the “Robert Walser-Sculpture” constituted a kind of ‘utopian moment’ – here, I do not mean a utopia in which everything is lovely, comfortable, finished and polished, not at all – rather one that constantly engaged the question of art, its meaning, its power of transformation, its impact and the topic of the public space for twelve hours a day during the 86-day duration of the project. Not only did I learn that art can resist both simplified idealism and simplified realism, this experience also taught me that our understanding of art can function as an expression of constitutive and ontological equality – indeed, art is the tool with which to construct this equality. Nothing else
matters. Art must be proactive here… and we are seeing its success. The absolute affirmation of
equality is the invisible link, the hidden connection, if you will, that holds the “Robert Walser
Sculpture” together.

Artist Thomas Hirschhorn (born 1957 in Bern) studied at Zurich University of the Arts between
1978 and 1983 before moving to Paris, where he has lived ever since. His work has been
exhibited the world over, including at the Venice Biennale (1999, Swiss Pavilion 2011, 2015),
documenta 11 (2002), 27th São Paolo Biennale (2006), La Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris
(2012), 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012), Manifesta 10 in Saint Petersburg (2014), The National
Gallery of Kosovo (2018), McaM Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai (2018) and the
Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2019). Each exhibition, whether in a museum, a gallery or in an alternative
or public space, clearly demonstrates his artistic commitment to a ‘non-exclusive public’.
Moreover, Hirschhorn has received the following awards and prizes for his artistic work – Preis für
Junge Schweizer Kunst (1999), Marcel Duchamp Prize (2000), Rolandpreis für Kunst im
öffentlichen Raum (2003), Joseph Beuys Prize (2004), Kurt Schwitters Prize (2011) and the Meret
Oppenheim Prize (2018).
An event organised by:
TransArts – Transdisciplinary Art
Thomas Hirschhorn
Thomas Hirschhorn "Robert Walser Sculpture", 2019, CH, Courtesy: the artist & ESS/SPA Swiss Sculpture Exhibition, Photos: Enrique Muñoz García