, Born in Bern, Switzerland, 1957
Medium:Cardboard, foil, plastic, gold wrapping paper, and tape
Dimensions:98 1/2 x 31 1/2 x 4 in. (250.2 x 80 x 10.2 cm)
Credit Line:Gift of the Rubell Family Collection in honor of Blake Byrne, T' 57
Label Copy: Thomas Hirschhorn’s use of everyday materials such as packing tape, plastic, and cardboard underlines his desire to make art that is inclusive and accessible to everyone. For Hirschhorn, this is a political stance, rooted in his questioning of society’s determination of value and quality. In Necklace CNN, Hirschhorn creates a monumental necklace in the style of hip-hop “bling” using cheap and common materials. By constructing art out of what many people would consider trash, Hirschhorn not only provides commentary on what art is and where its value lies, but he also addresses issues of quality in popular culture. Enlarging the necklace to mammoth proportions draws attention to its gaudiness. As Hirschhorn states, “Enlarging makes the thing empty.” The “CNN” prominently displayed on the necklace refers to the Cable News Network, with its twenty-four-hour news cycle that by necessity creates news where none exists or repeatedly discusses the same topics until they are hollow words without meaning. Hirschhorn draws an analogy between ratings-conscious reporting and the posturing and social status implied by a piece of jewelry. He highlights the precarious nature of culture when influenced by a desire for the sensational.