An exceptional new piece by Thomas Hirschhorn will be on display at the Robert Walser Center, starting on 12 April. The “Robert Walser Model,” an art installation inspired by the enigmatic photograph of Robert Walser’s dead body, represents the culmination of the Swiss artist’s years spent with the work and life of the author.

The photograph of Robert Walser lying dead in the snow moves viewers in strange and mysterious ways; it both obscures and reveals indiscreet glimpses of what happened on Christmas Day, 1956. By “realizing” Walser’s death as a model based on this image, Hirschhorn raises the questions as to what impressions an author leaves behind when he disappears and how an observer’s experience can bridge the chasm that opens up between an author’s life and his or her artistic legacy.

Hirschhorn’s “model” continues the Walser Center’s examination of the impact Robert Walser had on the fine arts, a series of exhibitions that started with the photographs of Robert Frank (2012) and the watercolors of Tilo Steireif (2015). At the same time, the exhibition will generate excitement among visitors for Hirschhorn’s “Robert Walser-Sculpture,” scheduled to open next summer in Biel.

Thomas Hirschhorn was born in Bern, Switzerland, in 1957 and has lived and worked in Paris since 1984. Hirschhorn often uses simple, everyday materials to create installations that investigate the relationship between art, politics, and society. Some of his most important works include the “Ingeborg Bachmann Altar,” Berlin (2006); the “Crystal of Resistance” installation, Swiss Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale (2011); and the “Gramsci Monument” in the Bronx, New York (2013). As part of the Swiss Sculpture Exhibition, Hirschhorn will present his new monumental public art project, “Robert Walser-Sculpture,” in Biel from June to September 2019.

Starting with Fischli/Weiss and Markus Raetz, a number of international artists, such as Tacita Dean, Marie José Burki, Dora Garcia, Rosemarie Trockel, Rodney Graham, Mark Wallinger, and Thomas Schütte, have shown us over the past few years how Robert Walser’s life and works have inspired the fine arts.

Opening Hours
12 April to 12 October 2018
Wednesday through Friday, 1–5 pm
Robert Walser Center, Marktgasse 45, 3011 Bern
Free admission; guided tours on request