11 Reasons why I have no problem with confronting negative critics on my work (2014)
1. Because one of my principles is to never complain, to never explain.
2. Because critique does not matter if I am aware that the real and only problem, my problem, is: how to make a work of art which defines – today – a new Term of Art?
3. Because I know – as absolute precondition – that there are errors and lacks in my work. But my first concern is not to do a work without errors or without lacks, I want to do an artwork where errors and lacks are not important. I want to do a work which is stronger than its errors and its lacks.
4. Because there aren’t many artistic positions besides my own which are so different, structurally different, that one needs to try to understand it anew.
5. Because I know exactly what I am doing, I know exactly what my position is, and I know exactly where I stand.
6. Because I know: when I am doing absolutely what I need to do, when I am doing completely what I know, and when I am entirely free with what is my own, I am doing my work of art truthfully.
7. Because I must always be ready to pay the price – first – for the work I am doing.
8. Because, since I began exhibiting, my work always had to stand up to critics – often more than other artist’s works – and didn’t really deserve it. With time I understood that there is a kind of system in criticism often irrelevant to my work and to my position. This system can sometimes seem too silly, too stupid or too cruel. One can just give up confronting it, or one can decide: I will stand this out because it’s only a system. I will stand it out because there is something more important to me: My work and my position.
9. Because I always have in mind Andy Warhol’s beautiful words: “Don’t cry – work” or the thoughtful words of Jean Cocteau: “Ce qu’on te reproche, renforce-le!”.
10. Because it means that my work is alive and can create what I call a ‘Critical Corpus’.
11. Because I am happy to do my work of art as a total affirmation: the affirmation of a form that wants to reach its non-exclusive audience beyond argumentation.
Thomas Hirschhorn, 2014