Thomas Hirschhorn has grown to become one of the most recognizable leading artists in the global contemporary art world. He gained fame in the 1990s thanks to his space filling massive collages that were created from disposable materials.
Influence & background
Thomas Hirschhorn was born in Switzerland in 1957. Originally trained as a graphic designer, his artworks often feature a lot of imagery and text, which can most likely be attributed to his background in graphic design. He is also known for creating massive installations from everyday mundane materials that no one would think to utilize for high art such as packing tape, soda cans or foil with the aim of engaging and challenging the senses. He has also racked up a reputation of using collage as a form of assessment and interpretation in an effort to force audiences to question themselves about their moral responsibility and their consumerism.
‘Too Too Much Much’
Too Too Much Much was Hirschhorn’s first ever major installation at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Belgium. Although this was not the first installation that Hirschhorn had created using aluminum soda cans, it was the first project of its magnitude to use these recycled materials.
To create the installation, Hirschhorn filled the entire space with regular used, crashed cans as well as larger-than-life-cans, some of which were crashed and others left whole. Certain rooms in the gallery also included large plastic pipes that featured cans that were overflowing out of them, while some other rooms, featured mannequins enclosed in glass cases.
Too too much much was an immersive environment that helped to challenge the observer or participant to navigate manmade spaces that have been over polluted by day to day items. In this project, visitors found themselves buried among cans and other items with the aim of forcing them to question their consumerism and their pollution habits.
Too too much much was also created so that audiences could question the manner in which they view quantity. He opted to use the humble aluminum can because soda cans are universal and are items that are used all over the world, which consequently made it easy for the audience to relate to the installation.
Thanks to the size of the massive installation, audiences were confronted by the reality of mass production and consumption. In the end, the experience he created was not only captivating and confrontational, but it was also an invitation for debate and dialogue regarding the contemporary world that we live in today.
All images: Romain Lopez/museumdd.be unless otherwise noted.