MDD Talks #4 - Words and deeds
22/05/2021 - 22/05/2021
A conversation between Thomas Hirschhorn, Sophie Lauwers and Vera Michalski-Hoffmann.
Artist Thomas Hirschhorn, curator and exhibition organiser Sophie Lauwers, and philanthropist Vera Michalski-Hoffmann come together to discuss the challenges of keeping public art public. Hirschhorn is renowned for his numerous artworks in public space co-realised with the communities where the works were first located – such as Spinoza-Car (2009), currently on view at BOZAR in Brussels. The conversation, moderated by Antony Hudek, will broach such questions as: "How to maintain the collaborative spirit of works conceived in and for public space?" and "What role do private art foundations play in ensuring their long-term agency?"
Thomas Hirschhorn was born in 1957 in Bern. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich from 1978 to 1983, and moved to Paris in 1983 where he has been living since. His work is shown in numerous museums, galleries and exhibitions including the Venice Biennale (1999 and 2015), Documenta11 (2002), the 27th Sao Paolo Biennale (2006), 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburg (2008), Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (2010) and the Swiss Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). With each exhibition in museums, galleries and alternative spaces, and in his 70 works in public space, Hirschhorn asserts his commitment toward a non-exclusive public.
Sophie L. Lauwers was born in Halle in 1966, and studied history at VUB in Brussels and ballet in Antwerp. Since 2011 she has been Director of Exhibitions BOZAR and member of its Executive Committee. Between 2002 and 2011 she was Exhibition Coordinator at BOZAR. Lauwers is highly engaged in supporting contemporary visual culture in Belgium, notably through her role on boards and committees, among them of Établissement d'en face, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens and Auguste Orts.
Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, after studying political science in Geneva, founded Éditions Noir sur Blanc with her Polish husband Jan Michalski in 1987 to build bridges between the cultures and peoples of Europe by publishing authors in French and Polish. In 2004, she created the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature in Montricher, at the foot of the Swiss Jura, with the mission of supporting literary creation and encouraging the practice of reading. Among its many activities, the Jan Michalski Foundation organises and funds exhibitions, cultural events, writers’ residencies and an annual prize for world literature.