PRINT September 2002

Matthew Higgs

THE FRIEDRICH-WÖHLER HOUSING ESTATE IS A FAIRLY TYPICAL working-class enclave located on the fringes of Kassel’s town center. Patronizingly described as a “marginalized local community” in the exhibition’s accompanying guide, it is, for the duration of Documenta11 temporarily home to Thomas Hirschhorn’s extraordinary Bataille Monument, 2002, the highlight of an otherwise sober and at times tetchy exhibition.

The third in Hirschhorn’s ongoing series of ad hoc “anti monuments” dedicated to some of our most troubling and original thinkers—the previous incumbents being Baruch Spinoza and Gilles Deleuze—the Bataille Monument is a series of five interconnected structures that occupy the public spaces between the extant residential buildings. Built and maintained by the artist with the assistance and support of the local residents, the piece is inextricably implicated in the daily life

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