SOME MOMENTS OF GRACE (IN MY WORK) – Tribute to Simone Weil (2018)

The notion of ‘Grace’ is meaningful to me and counts in my work. I want and will always create openings for Grace. I will therefore show you examples of moments of Grace that appeared in some of my works.

I want to work, and I want to fight for Grace, for Moments of Grace – in my Art and throughout my Art. This means I must lose myself into my Artwork and give myself up in doing it. I must lose myself and give myself up so completely that, as such this becomes the competence to do my work. Loosing and giving up means to work within the difficulty, the precariousness, the chaos, the emptiness and even the senselessness of doing an Artwork today. It means to face those problematics in a conscious Headlessness. Losing myself into Art and giving myself up in doing my work of Art is the contrary of doing nothing or not loving art. Because losing myself and giving myself up in and throughout my work must be my unique and only competence to do Art.

Grace draws itself on Art. Art as such can generate ‘Moments of Grace’. These moments show evidence that Art is a transformatory act. Grace offers itself – it appears without being planned, calculated or provoked. If I want to perceive and be in touch with Grace – I must be awake, alert and attentive and accept those Moments of Grace in their precariousness and uncertainty. I need to acknowledge that Grace cannot be measured or pinned down and I have to accept that Moments of Grace cannot be documented and can’t count as a result. Grace stands beyond success or failure – I need to acknowledge that there can be Grace even in failure. Moments of Grace can arise when everything seems in vain and seems lost.

Therefore – even if I can and want – to share memories of Some Moments of Grace (in my work), I must be aware that: “Grace fills empty spaces but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void” (Simone Weil)*.


Thomas Hirschhorn, 2018


* “La grâce comble, mais elle ne peut entrer que là où il y a un vide pour la recevoir, et c’est elle qui fait ce vide.” (Simone Weil, “La Pesanteur et la Grâce”, chapitre “Accepter le vide”).