About the “Musée Précaire Albinet” (2004)

I am an artist, I am not a social worker. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” is a work of art, and not a sociocultural project. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” is an affirmation. This affirmation is that art can only gain importance and a political meaning by being art. This is why I insist on the fact that the “Musée Précaire Albinet” is an art project. The point is not to reduce art to the sociopolitical field, nor to limit the mission of art to a cultural mission. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” is not controllable. Art can always escape from control. When proposing the Landy area as location for the project, I said, and most specifically to the inhabitants of the Cité Albinet, that the mission of the “Musée Précaire Albinet” is an impossible mission, since this impossible mission is based on an agreement. Agreeing means to agree with one’s mission. It is only if I agree with my mission, that I can cooperate with reality and change it. Reality cannot be changed unless you agree with it. To agree is an affirmation. To affirm something does not mean to respect something, to affirm something means to love something. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” is an affirmation, in agreement with the neighborhood, its inhabitants, its location, its program, its visitors, its activities. To agree does not mean to approve of, it means to dare go beyond the horizon of discussion, of argumentation, communication, justification and explanation. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” claims to be a breakthrough. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” carries within itself the violence of the horizon’s transgression. I, myself, must constantly fight against the ideology of the possible, and against the dictatorship of what is allowed. I, myself, must work against the culture administration’s logic of facilitating things. I must constantly encourage myself. I must encourage myself for taking the right decision, and I must encourage myself to remain free. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” is a project that does not want to soothe, nor calm down. With this project, I want to dare touch what cannot be touched, the other, I do not want to neutralize the other. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” does not work towards “justice”, “democracy”, neither towards “the possible”. The artist’s freedom or the autonomy of art remain words if what they are aiming for is being prescribed at the same time. The “Musée Précaire Albinet” is a project in complete overworking, in total exageration. This project must constantly assert it’s raison d’être, and is constantly defending the autonomy of an artwork. Each day, the “Musée Précaire Albinet” must be rebuilt. This project involves complexity, contradiction, difficulty and beauty. I shall never say that the “Musée Précaire Albinet” is a succes, nor shall I ever say it is a failure.

Thomas Hirschhorn, Aubervilliers, May 5. 2004