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Thomas Hirschhorn: Doing Art Politically: What Does This Mean?
Doing Art Politically: What Does This Mean?
(S. 71 – 82)

What do I want? What does the other want?

Thomas Hirschhorn

Doing Art Politically: What Does This Mean?

Today, the terms of ›political art‹, ›committed art‹, ›political artist‹ and ›committed artist‹ are used very often. These simplifications and abbreviations have long since been obsolete. They are cheap and lazy classifications. Not for a second do I think of myself as more ›committed‹ than another artist. As an artist, one must be totally committed to one’s artwork. There is no other possibility than total commitment if one wants to achieve something with one’s art. This is true for any art. Today there is a great confusion concerning the question of what should be ›Political‹ or ›political‹. I am only interested in what is really political, the political that implicates: Where do I stand? Where does the other stand? What do I want? What does the other want? The politics of opinions, of comments and of views of the majority – does not and has never interested me. I am concerned with doing my art politically – I am not and was never concerned with making political art. The statement, ›doing art politically – not making political art‹ is a statement I took from Jean-Luc Godard. He said, «It is a matter of making films politically; it is not a matter of making political films.« But what does it mean to do art politically? 



Doing art politically means giving form



Not making a form – but giving form. A form which comes from me, from myself only, which can only come from me because I see the form that way, I understand it that way and because I am the only one to know that form. To give form – as opposed to making a form – means to be one with it. I must stand alone with this form. It means raising the form, asserting this form and defending it – against everything and against everyone. It means to ask the question of form for myself and try to answer – through giving form. I want to try to confront the great artistic challenge: How can I give a form which takes a position? How can I give a form that resists 

facts? I want to understand the question of form as the most important question for an artist. 



Doing art politically means creating something



I can only create or fulfil something if I address reality positively, even the hard core of reality. It is a matter of never allowing the...
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Thomas Hirschhorn

ist Künstler. Er lebt und arbeitet in Paris. 2002 nahm er an der documenta 11 in Kassel teil. Weitere wichtige Ausstellungen waren Das Auge in der Wiener Secession (2008); 24h Foucault im Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2005) und Swiss-Swiss Democracy am Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris (2004).

Weitere Texte von Thomas Hirschhorn bei DIAPHANES
INAESTHETIK – NR. 1

Um das Thema »Politiken der Kunst« gruppieren sich die Texte der Nummer 1 der Zeitschrift INAESTHETIK. Gibt es einen politischen Auftrag des Kunstwerks? Wie bestimmt sich der Ort des Kunstwerks im sozialen Feld? Wie verhalten sich Kunstproduktion, Kunstkritik, Kunstwissenschaften und Philosophie zueinander? Ist Kunst zwingend kritisch: institutions-, markt- und ideologiekritisch? Oder setzt das Kunstwerk noch der Kritik und ihrem guten Gewissen Grenzen, die aus ihm eine riskante und vielleicht notwendig affirmative Praxis machen? Liegt der Sinn in diesen immer wieder mit dem Kunstwerk verbundenen Kategorien des Widerstands und der Subversion nicht auch in einer Art Selbstberuhigung, die es dem Künstler und der Künstlerin erlaubt, am politischen Spiel ohne wirklichen Einsatz teilzunehmen, sodass das politische Bewusstsein die Funktion einer uneingestandenen Entpolitisierung übernimmt? Wie affirmativ muss ein Kunstwerk sein, um subversiv oder politisch sein zu können?

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