“Fake it, Fake it – till you Fake it.” (2023)

How to do art in times of war, destruction, violence, anger, hate, resentment? What kind of art should be done in moments of darkness and desperation? Can art be a tool for understanding history’s changes? Can a work of art draw alternative forms of understanding the world? How to continue working – as an artist – and in doing so, avoid falling into the traps of facts, journalism, and comments? I want to ask myself these questions and above all, I want to create, with my work, a surface of reflection. I don’t pretend to resolve or offer solutions, but I want my work “Fake it, Fake it – till you Fake it.” to contribute to this problematic, as a form cutting a break-through in the analog into the digital.

To work in ‘the real world’ and for ‘the real world’ is the commitment. I want to make a plastic affirmation which poses the problematic of how an analog, real exhibition space can be combined with the digital and virtual world. I want to keep my work in its ‘analog’ mode, in conflict with the ‘digital,’ therefore reflecting the friction and clash of the real into the virtual. Of course it’s never about ignoring the digital or the virtual because their enormous transformation and far-reaching consequences have created on our coexistence and communicational behavior a kind of ‘fake-utopian’-turning point. I am trying to challenge – throughout my work – this ‘fake-utopian’ idea. I call it ‘fake-utopian’ and not dystopian. A dystopian idea is an idea originally utopian, that was unintentionally transformed by mistake or default, into dystopia. But here, the ‘fake-utopian’ idea is an idea that deliberately doesn’t admit its fakeness and never believes in its utopian dimension. This is what I want to work out, in ‘faking’ myself with self-irony, modesty, silliness, and headlessness.

I have been following with much interest the Silicon Valley cliché-credo “Fake it, till you make it!,” and I include myself in this cliché-credo, because am I not – are we not all trying to do so? I too, want to fake it, fake it so much, so long and far, that things don’t lie any more. Because ‘fake’ is not the problem, lying is the problem. I do not want to lie, I do not want things to lie. When someone in the subway is asking for money and making signs as a deaf person – perhaps the signs are fake, but the person is not faking his or her need of money, so – there is no lie.

The form of the work “Fake it, Fake it – till you Fake it.” is precarious, it’s a Precarious Sculpture. In working the form out only in cardboard, from ‘fake’ computers to ‘fake’ credit cards, I want to insist on the importance of the material-decision in its plastic dimension, and on the artist’s agreement to pay the price for a decision which always is an artistic one. The question is: How can a precarious-form be offered through an enveloping, quickly done, poorly worked-out sculpture ? And how can a form that interrogates the influence and compliance of digital-consumerism and questions ‘fake-utopian’ results, be asserted?

Thomas Hirschhorn, Aubervilliers 2023