Thomas Hirschhorn’s works, though precariously constructed, are impeccably designed and contain rich narratives that engaga the viewer and activate the exhibition space. Non-Lieux was made after the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the subsequent retaliatory bombing of Afghanistan led by the United States and United Kingdom. Borrowing a term from artist Robert Smithson, the title of the work translates to “non-site,” referencing the area blighted by the terrorist strike. Without taking a specific position, Non-Lieux is confrontational in its range of iconography. Multiple factors, and the secular and religious ideals they represent, actively vie for the viewer’s attention as well as for a meaningful stake in the landscape.
Thomas Hirschhorn (b. 1957, Bern, Switzerland; lives and works in Paris)
Cardboard, wood, candles, glass, paper, lights, and electric train
112 x 100 x 163 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Purchased with funds provided by the Acquisition and Collection Committee