Thomas Hirschhorn has overhauled the normally very refined rooms at Gl. Strand in a radical transformation that turns our notions of the venerable old art institution upside down.

DIY aesthetic

Hirschhorn creates complex and chaotic art installations that radically transform the rooms they are placed in. He constructs labyrinthine constructions of diverse found objects and low-cost materials that visitors can lose themselves in, engaging both their mind and their senses. With a do-it-yourself aesthetic, Hirschhorn aims to inspire debates about consumerism and global politics. He combines his artistic approach with an interest in radical and challenging mindsets in a manner similar to the French artists and thinkers George Bataille and Gilles Deleuze.

Fragile constructions

In the installation at Gl. Strand, walls have collapsed, and bricks have come lose and shifted – some have crashed to the floor, leaving behind large holes in the walls. The load-bearing constructions are no longer stable, and the old oak beams lie scattered on the floor. Interior constructions, such as pipes, are laid bare, and the normally beautiful rooms, which are listed by the Danish conservation authority, have been transformed beyond recognition. What appeared solid and secure now reveals the fragility that all constructions, illusions and notions possess.

Deconstructing with the aim of reconstructing

The rubble heaps at Gl. Strand call for us to build anew and start over. During the exhibition period, the visitors are invited to take part in the task of rebuilding what has been demolished. The exhibition includes a workshop that serves as a setting for conversation and artistic production. Here, the visitors can build from the materials found in the rubble. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication by Hirschhorn himself that conveys his ideas in text and images. The publication, which is supported by the New Carlsberg Foundation, is designed as a newspaper and contains selected historical and contemporary texts, for example excerpts from Antonio Gramsci’s notebooks from prison under the Italian Fascist regime.

‘Community of fragments’ is scheduled to run from 2 March to 11 April 2021. Because Thomas Hirschhorn wants the audience to engage actively with the exhibition, there is free admission throughout the exhibition period. You can find more information about the exhibition here.

About Thomas Hirschhorn

Thomas Hirschhorn (b. 1957) is a Swiss artist, who lives and works in Paris. Hirschhorn has held solo exhibitions all over the world, including at the Dia Art Foundation in New York, Pinakothek der Moderne München and Kunsthal Aarhus. He is known for creating works of art that engage both the exhibition venue and the audience and aim to spark conversations about the role and impact of art in a wider societal context. Hirschhorn represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 2011.