MONTREAL, Sept. 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The "big cake" is our society of
excessive consumption, while the "jumbo spoons" represent 12 twentieth-century
utopias that have failed, in the artist's view. The Musée d'art contemporain
de Montréal presents the exhibition Thomas Hirschhorn: Jumbo Spoons and Big
Cake from October 4, 2007 to January 6, 2008.
Thomas Hirschhorn was born in Switzerland in 1957. After completing his
studies in graphic design in Zurich, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he
moved to Paris and joined the Grapus collective. He did not practise as a
graphic designer, however, preferring creative freedom to the ideological
concessions imposed by client's requirements. His commitment to combining art
and life, artistic expression and political activism, lies behind his use of
"humble" salvaged and packing materials. The result is often an impression of
accumulation and chaos.
Jumbo Spoons and Big Cake
Jumbo Spoons and Big Cake is a monumental installation that measures
approximately 17 metres by 12 metres and that, at first glance, could resemble
an upside-down reference centre (chained books and papers, stacked files and
photographs, and so on) were it not for the incongruous presence, in the
middle, of a gigantic cake and 12 spoons standing all around it. Modelled
after souvenir spoons collected by tourists, here they are emblematic of
individuals or entities the artist associates with failed utopias: Mies van
der Rohe, Rosa Luxemburg, Malevich, Nietzsche, Venice, China, the moon, guns,
fashion, the exhibition of "degenerate" art held by the Nazis in 1937, Rolex
Swiss watches and the Chicago Bulls basketball team. According to Josée
Bélisle, curator in charge of the Musée Collection and the exhibition, the
"big cake" Hirschhorn sets before us is a "disturbing, magnified image of
excessive consumption and existential chaos."
In this installation, the artist offers a space for reflection and
commitment with respect to the issues of contemporary society, the
overabundance of information, the state of the world and the urgent question
of global hunger.
Jumbo Spoons and Big Cake (2000), a recent major acquisition of the Musée
d'art contemporain, was shown at the Chicago Art Institute when it was first
created, and then in Paris, at the Musée national d'art moderne/Centre
Pompidou, in 2005 as part of the group exhibition Dionysiac.
A 44-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It contains an essay by
exhibition curator Josée Bélisle, a biobibliography and numerous illustrations
of the installation at the Musée. It is consequently scheduled for release at
the end of October. The catalogue can then be purchased for $19.95 at the
museum's Olivieri Bookstore or from your local bookseller.
Meet the artist
Thomas Hirschhorn will meet the public the day before the opening,
Tuesday, October 2, 2007, at 6 p.m.
The Musée d'art contemporain is a provincially owned corporation funded
by the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine
du Québec. It receives additional funding from the Department of Canadian
Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as from Lichen
For further information:
For further information: Danielle Legentil, Public Relations
Coordinator, (514) 847-6232, email@example.com; Visual material
available: www.macm.org, Newsroom Link: Visual material, User name: presse,