Thomas Hirschhorn at Dvir / Tel Aviv

Thomas Hirschhorn
New Pixel-Collage

17.09. – 22.10.2016

Dvir Tel Aviv
Reshit Hochma st 14
Tel Aviv, 6135302

Images courtesy the artist and Dvir gallery
New Pixel-Collage” 

“New Pixel-Collage” is my most recent work. I am still working and
completely engaged with the problematic of pixelation. After my
exhibition “Pixel-Collage” at Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris beginning of
2016, I wanted to continue developing the thematic of pixels. The ‘new’
is my statement that “Pixel-Collage” is not a technique, not a system
but a decision. Putting or removing each pixel – or even cutting it into
smaller pixel parts – is a decision. It’s a political decision. In these “New
Pixel-Collage” I want to reinforce the aesthetical aspect with the beauty
of the pixelated part in opposition to the non-pixelated part. The new of
the “New Pixel-Collage” also comes from my attempt to find, within the
composition of each collage which serves as fundament, its very own
logic as to what to pixelate and what to keep un-pixelated. The aim of
the ‘New’ is to focus on the non-systematic logic of the “Pixel-Collage”.
What is also new is the video work “Pixel-Video” which will be presented
for the first time in the exhibition. Finally, with the “New Pixel-Collage” I
want to insist, even heavily on what interests me strongly, passionately
today and makes me work in a kind of urgency and necessity. I believe
that ‘pixelation’ or blurring, masking and furthermore censorship or selfcensorship,
is a growing and insidious problem, also in regard the new
social medias. Obviously I don’t accept what has been pixelated in my
place ‘to protect me’ and consequently don’t pixelate what is usually
concealed and meant to be removed, frustrate, censor or make nonvisible.
Therefore in the new “Pixel-Collage”, I want to show pixelation or
blurring in its abstract aesthetic and question: How can abstraction be
understood today? How can abstraction, through pixilation, engage me in
today’s world, time and reality? How can I redefine my idea of abstraction
today? I want to integrate the growing phenomena of facelessness in
pictures today. What interests me specifically about this aesthetic of
facelessness is its formal embodiment through pixelation. This “Pixelation”
phenomenon, more and more common in the media, shows us that, in
order to be authentic, a picture needs to be pixelated or partly pixelated.
Pixelating has taken over the role of authenticity. A pixelated picture is
surely authentic if it has unacceptable areas which are concealed while
the acceptable is not pixelated. It is interesting to observe that the use of
pixels follows no common law at all. Partly pixelated pictures look even
more authentic and are accepted as such by viewers. It therefore seems
clear that pixels stand for authentication: Authentication through authority.
And, in our chaotic, incommensurable, contradictory and complex world
there is a huge demand for authority. Pixels deliver an aesthetic to this
demand for authority, for protection and for de-responsabilization.
I understand abstraction as thinking, as political thinking. Pixels in their
abstraction build up a new form, opening towards a dynamic and desire
of truth, truth as such, truth as something reaching beyond information,
non-information or counter-information. The point is to understand how an
existing published picture can become an abstraction. It seems to me that
– paradoxically – the authoritarian will to use pixelation in order to hide, to
‘protect’, not show, or not make something visible has, instead, become
an invitation or possibility to touch truth. Truth through pixels, through their
abstraction and the aesthetic of their abstraction. To touch truth does not mean
verifying information; to touch truth is an act of emancipation. The political
thinking and form of the “New Pixel-Collage” is the belief in abstraction, and
the belief in the aesthetic of pixilation.

“New Pixel-Collage” are collages. Making a collage means pasting together
existing elements of reality to create a new world that did not exist before.
A collage requires at least two different elements brought together, but can
be made with more. Therefore something new, a new world, a new image,
a new light is conceived. This means giving a response – through Form – to
the question “How can abstraction be understood today?” Form is not just an
idea Form is essential, Form is crucial, Form is the core. I want to give Form,
and in giving Form I must show what I see, what I understand, what comes
from myself without explanation or argumentation. Nothing is un-showable.
What cannot be shown is what has no form. Everything that is ‘form’ is
showable and viewable – even when incommensurable. Everything that has a
form in this incommensurable world must remain incommensurable, without
an attempt of becoming commensurable from not being shown or keeping
our eyes shut. In order to confront the world, to struggle with its chaos, its
incommensurability, in order to coexist and to cooperate in this world and
with the other, I need to confront reality without distance. It is necessary to
distinguish ‘sensitivity’, which to me means being ‘awake’ and ‘attentive’,
from ‘hypersensitivity’, which means ‘self-enclosure’ and ‘exclusion’. Today,
more than ever, I need to see everything with my own eyes in our one world,
and no one can tell me what my eyes should see or not. 

Thomas Hirschhorn,
Aubervilliers, Summer 2016