Thomas Hirschhorn and Vivian Maier

Thomas Hirschhorn and Vivian Maier

MAN Museo d’arte della Provincia di Nuoro

Thomas Hirschhorn, Collage-Truth 33, 2012. Collage, 41.5 x 31.5 cm. Courtesy the artist.

June 14, 2015

Thomas Hirschhorn and Vivian Maier
10 July–18 October 2015

Opening: 10 July, 7pm

Museo MAN
Via S. Satta 27
08100 Nuoro (Sardinia)
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–1pm and 3–7pm

T +39 0784 25 21 10

Thomas Hirschhorn
3 “Easycollage” and 6 “Collage-Truth”
With 3 “Easycollage” and 6 “Collage-Truth,” Thomas Hirschhorn transforms the MAN Museum’s project room into an uncomfortable space full of provocative suggestion and visual contrasts. The project, curated by Lorenzo Giusti, proposes a series of large-scale works and other smaller ones, created between 2012 and 2015, in which fashion photographs live side by side with war photos.

The sense of estrangement and repulsion triggered by the vision of the collages is the weapon with which Hirschhorn carries on his battle against a simplified relationship with the image and against the tendency of mass media photography to concentrate only on partial aspects of reality, which is what photography claims to capture, by removing the shades of meaning.

The imposition on the eye of bodies torn apart by war and at the same time of bodies idealized by advertising and marketing, parallels in appearance contrary to all logic of sense and aesthetics, represents a mindful strategy that aims to invert the process of assuefaction/hypersensitivation induced by the media.

Thomas Hirschhorn’s works intend to create awareness among viewers of their visual experiences, to come to grips with their sensitivity and recognize the need for careful critical thought when dealing with the world of the media and, more in general, with geopolitical realities and social conditions today. 

The 3 “Easycollage” and 6 “Collage-Truth” project develops along the pathway of an investigation of the collage as an instrument of critical analysis traced by Hirschhorn in recent years. His is an investigation in which the artist places side-by-side site-specific works that respond to the precise design of critically analyzing society (atmospheres created for the most part with poor materials and objects of daily use) and participatory operations that call for direct involvement of the public.

Thomas Hirschhorn (b. 1957, Bern) studied at the Schule für Gestaltung (Zürich) and moved to Paris in 1983, where he has been living since. His work has been shown in numerous museums, galleries and exhibitions among which the Venice Biennale (1999 and 2015), Documenta (2002), Sao Paolo Biennale (2006), Carnegie International, Pittsburg (2008), Swiss Pavillion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), La Triennale at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012), Shanghai Biennale (2012), Gladstone Gallery New York (2012), Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg (2014). 

Vivian Maier
Street Photographer
A nanny for New York’s and Chicago’s wealthy families starting from the 1950s, for over five decades Vivian Maier shot life in the streets of the cities where she lived, without ever making her work known. Never an exhibition, not even a marginal one, never a publication. What she has left us is a considerable archive, with more than 150,000 negatives, Super 8 or 16mm footage, recordings, notes and other papers of different kinds that the “French” nanny (her mother came from the Provençal Alps) accumulated in her rooms, jealously hoarding it all. Later confined to a storeroom, the material was confiscated in 2007 due to unpaid rent and then discovered by the young John Maloof at an auction in Chicago. 

The exhibition at the MAN of Nuoro, curated by Anne Morin and organized together with diChroma Photography, is the first exhibition of Vivian Maier’s work in an Italian public institution. Starting from the material collected by John Maloof, the project provides an overview of Vivian Maier’s work, emphasizing the key elements of her poetics, such as the obsession for documentation and accumulation, fundamental in the construction of her true artistic as well as biographic profile. 

What enraptures the public, even before her photographs, is the story of “Nanny Vivian,” so unusual, so fascinating that it does not seem real. But beyond the story, beyond the biographical notes, the big-little secrets revealed by those who knew her, beyond her representation as an eccentric, reserved woman, strict and curious like few others, the custodian of a mystery still to be revealed, beyond all else stands the great photography of Vivian Maier, on whom much remains to be said. 

Of Vivian Maier’s work we are captivated not only by her capacity for observation, the watchful eye alert to every variation of the whole, her talent for composition and framing. What is most impressive is the ease with which she passes from one register to another, from current events to tragedy, to the absurd, always resolutely faithful to her eye.

Together with 120 photographs among the most important in Maloof’s archive, shot between the early years of the 1950s and the end of the 1960s, the exhibition also presents a series of Super 8 films and a selection of colour photographs taken starting from the middle of the 1960s. The exhibition will also be enhanced by a series of  contact prints, never before exhibited, useful in understanding the vision and development of this American photographer.

MAN Museum presents Thomas Hirschhorn and Vivian Maier
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MAN Museo d’arte della Provincia di Nuoro
June 14, 2015

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