Thomas Hirschhorn’s “Swiss-Swiss Democracy”

THE AGGRESSIVE REACTION to Thomas Hirschhorn’s multimedia extravaganza “Swiss-Swiss Democracy” at the Swiss Cultural Center (CCS) in Paris came as a surprise to the artist. Hirschhorn and eight assistants (after four months of studio preparation) had spent three weeks installing his signature cardboard cavern of photocopied articles and pictures, scripted slogans, philosophy books, videos, and packing-tape-covered objects for the December 4 opening. This time he added a one-hour burlesque of Schiller’s play William Tell (the mythical fourteenth-century hero who freed Switzerland from foreign control), staged every evening of the show’s run by French thesp Gwenaël Morin; a lecture each day at four by Berlin philosopher Marcus Steinweg (Hirschhorn’s in-house mouthpiece); and a photocopied journal, made daily on-site until the show’s January 30 closing, with extracts from Steinweg’s lectures,

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