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Thomas Hirschhorn was born in 1957 in Bern. In the 1980s he worked in Paris as a graphic artist. He was part of the group of Communist graphic designers called Grapus. He left Grapus to create the hypersaturated installations he is known for today, using common materials such as cardboard, foil, duct tape, and plastic wrap. These installations are often site specific and outside the gallery, and/or interactive. Unlike much total installation work, the viewer is an observer not an actor in the spaces he creates because of the way he continues to offer messages in his work as he did with Grapus. Austrian author and Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek takes issue with the artist's views on Marxism. In a 2008 interview the artist said that he was not aware of her concerns. He received the Marcel Duchamp Prize and the Joseph Beuys Prize in 2004.
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