Art Critique Of Gramsci Monument: A Work in Public Space by Thomas Hirschhorn at Forest Houses, the Bronx, New York. — newcriterion.com
Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument, a temporary public art work sponsored by the Dia Foundation now on view at Forest Houses in the Bronx, reportedly cost $500,000 to construct.1 If you try accounting for its material costs in plywood, nails, tarps, and packing tape, and still come up $490,000 short, you are not alone. The Swiss-born Hirschhorn is the type of Continental sophisticate who traffics in the naive. A regular on the Kunsthalle circuit, he knows how to work the levers of funding while enjoying the representation of a high-rolling Chelsea gallery, all in advancement of his phony patois. As a general contractor, he also deserves to be stripped of his license. Hirschhorn makes things that are worth less than the tape they are wrapped in. As it happens, obsessively wrapping junk in packing tape, thus furthering its decrepitude until it devolves into Hirschhorn junk, is his stock in trade. His shoddy constructions are poststructural manifestations representing the inverse of his own sense of greatness.