“RESTORE NOW” (2006)

(Physical map featured only, no political border depicted)

“RESTORE NOW” is an assertion, a challenge to myself, but it is also a challenge to the other. It’s the challenge to maintain permanent restoration and it’s the challenge to take war names as “Restore hope” seriously, yes I want to restore hope, restore faith, restore love, restore peace.

The title “RESTORE NOW” has two meanings for me: first of all, it means restore now, right now, today, in an immediate necessity, with the emergency of the moment. The second meaning is to restore the Now, the present, in the sense that the present must be restored because it is already incomplete, unjust, imperfect, even before it is consumed, before it has happened. Restoration does not have to be done because something is used or worn out, but because something is already not accomplished.

It is permanently in such a state of uncertainty, that’s the “state of precariousness”, precariousness as a decision and as a responsibility.

(Physical map featured only, no political border depicted) – the words under the title – are for me a sort of guideline to “RESTORE NOW”. I read this in an airplane as it appears when the route map is being shown on the video screens. I liked the constant repetition of this sentence always appearing even thought the plane has moved. The insistence and repetition of this sentence conveys the sense of permanent restoring and without meaning to, the protective intention of this message gives an idea of universality. I am interested in universality. “RESTORE NOW” is not about politics, it’s physical.

“RESTORE NOW” wants to be constructive, absolutely constructive. It wants to be an interpretation of the world, the time and the reality I am living in, it is a real interpretation, an entire interpretation and true interpretation. A true interpretation is an interpretation which confronts and appropriates. A true interpretation is not about something, and it’s not speaking on behalf of something else. A true interpretation is an active and creative statement to give form to something new. The new is an assertion and is an interpretation which in its’ violence and cruelty wants to construct the new. The form of “RESTORE NOW” is the form of a permanent workshop, a working place, a laboratorium and with the form of the workshop I want to insist on the importance of work, the importance of the work versus theory. To me the work is always more important than theory. The work as something done, but even more the work as something to be done, as something to rework, re-think permanently and not as achievement or self-contentment. Thinking is working.

My project for the Sao Paulo Biennial, is a new work that requires a space of about 150 to 200 square meters. I need this amount of space in order to express the aim of my work “RESTORE NOW” with different plastic elements. It is not necessary that the space be enclosed by existing walls since I plan to build my own walls with painted cardboard walls. These walls will be made of roughly, self constructed wall parts, free standing and of different sizes, and used to build up the outer walls and the walls inside my space. I want to create a space where the logic of the activity is concentrated on working. The main proposition of “RESTORE NOW” is to work out, to repair form with faith in Art and Philosophy. When I say faith I mean faith as complete trust and confidence in what makes Art and Philosophy universal. Art, Philosophy, Poetry can heal the world, not politics. The problems of today are universal, everything concerns the whole, there is no political border, everything is only physical. “RESTORE NOW” wants to confront universality, the fact that everybody is concerned and has to be concerned by everything at the same moment, in the same space. The power to repair or to heal does not comes from dreaming or escaping. The power to repair or to heal comes from faith in Art and Philosophy.

All the constructed elements in “RESTORE NOW” are built and based on a personal inner logic. This logic may be brutal, crudely made or not yet finished. It is my logic, it is my own personal logic. “RESTORE NOW” will be made with cardboard, tape, wood, plastic, plexiglass, photocopies, nails, screws, wires, with common or precarious materials. To me precariousness is only “physical”. Precariousness is only the working-out, the visual, the form. There is nothing precarious in the idea, the experience, the consequences, the confrontation, the enrichment. This is why I make the distinction between precariousness and ephemeral. Ephemeral is what comes from nature, precariousness is the human. Precariousness is nothing negative. Precariousness is the photography of an endless movement, precariousness is not the end and not the beginning. It is an instant, it is the moment. It is the unique moment. In order to reach this moment I have to be present and I have to be awake. I have to stand up, I have to face the world, the reality, the time and I have to risk myself. This is the beauty in precariousness. This is why in “RESTORE NOW” everything has to be reconstructed every day, every hour, every moment in my own brain and in the brain of the other. The endless re-building and constant re-construction of this work can give it its power to touch the eternity. Nothing is more boring than something definite, something sure, something safe because it just isn’t the truth. The truth can only be touched – in Art – with headlessness, hazardous, contradictory and hidden encounters. I want to re-establish the word ‘precarious’. Precariousness can be a tool to work out contemporary problematics involving economic, social, religious, political and cultural issues.

“RESTORE NOW” is not a work “about” something, it is a work itself. “RESTORE NOW” wants to be something beautiful. As always, I want to make a beautiful work, it’s always about beauty. The precarious materials assert their beauty and I believe they can touch grace. But the grace does not come from the fact that they are graceful, the grace comes from the absolute confidence that lies within these materials and forms, and in its perpetual power.

Concretely “RESTORE NOW” will be composed of : the walls and wall parts made of painted cardboard, a painted plastic floor, wood planks with screws screwed into them, hanging reflectors and mirrors, 4 integrated videos, globes connected together with wood beams, broken glasses in repair (plexiglass sheets), the tools (real), the books and the enlarged books, enlarged alphabetical letters, banners, megaphones and an enlarged megaphone and many more different elements. In “RESTORE NOW” there will be philosophical books and enlarged philosophical books. With these books, the real ones with their content, and the enlarged ones with their form, I want to point out that Philosophy is not important to illustrate my artwork nor to argument it. I do not need Philosophy for doing my artwork, I need Philosophy as a human being. To me, Philosophy is a necessity, a necessity to confront, confront things I do not understand, things which are beyond my immediate understanding.

Thomas Hirschhorn, Aubervilliers, June 1., 2006