Left: Thomas Hirschhorn's schema for Crystal of Resistance. Right: Thomas Hirschhorn, Crystal of Resistance (work in progress), 2011, mixed media, dimensions variable.


Along with Andrea Thal, Thomas Hirschhorn will represent Switzerland in this summer’s Venice Biennale. To complement Crystal of Resistance, his new work for the Swiss pavilion, he has made a website, which he discusses here. A monograph titled Establishing a Critical Corpus will be published on the occasion of Hirschhorn’s work in Venice.

I DECIDED TO MAKE A WEBSITE to inform people about my work Crystal of Resistance. I want to offer material about this new work and I want to propose an inside view––from myself––about my work for the Venice Biennale. My website is not an artwork of mine but stands alongside the artwork Crystal of Resistance. I want to show how I proceed in working. I want to explain where my inspiration, my references, my influence, and my input––for this biennale work––are coming from. Beyond this, my website wants to assert my artistic project in general, my work position and my ambition as an artist. Furthermore, I want to assert my belief in art and why I believe in art. I made this website to express: Where do I stand? What do I want? And also to say that I am the art worker, that I am the art soldier, that I am the one who is doing the artwork! I want to speak in my own words––beyond journalism––about my convictions, about my will to give form through my work and only through my work, and I want to insist on my own terms of art. I do not have an artist homepage or a blog; I do not use Facebook or Twitter. This is my second website: In 2009 I made a time-limited website for my work The Bijlmer Spinoza Festival in Amsterdam.

My work Crystal of Resistance will resist––as all artworks do. My website is not the artwork and my website is not part of my artwork. The site is an assertion; it is pure assertion coming from myself––directly––without mediation or commentaries. No press releases are needed. My site is meant as a toolbox, a free and open toolbox, and I hope it will work as a toolbox. My website is also an information source for someone who cannot travel to Venice and cannot see my work there. My website functions as a complementary fixing point during the exhibition, beside the catalogue Establishing a Critical Corpus which concerns previous works and specific aspects of my work in general and that will come out for the Biennale. I hope this website can create the conditions for a confrontation or a dialogue by establishing a critical corpus of my work and by including the nonexclusive audience.

The site is a time-limited website, as announced: I will end it two months after the closing of the Biennale. It will be online for ten months altogether. It is good to renew and make space for new works.

— As told to Lauren O’Neill-Butler