Thomas Hirschhorn, Flamme éternelle, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist and Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

What I can learn from you. What you can learn from me. (Critical Workshop).

Thomas Hirschhorn

The idea, the philosophy, the guideline, the affirmation of this workshop is: To share the PARTICULAR and by sharing it, making it UNIVERSAL. Because everybody can learn something from the Other. And because everybody can teach the Other something specific.

“What can I learn from you. What can you learn from me.” is the affirmation that there is something to share, which goes beyond all di erences, beyond all particularities. I want to understand learning as sharing. Sharing something with the other is an act of generosity because what is shared allows the Other to learn. What is learned is something I did not expect to learn, I did not need to learn, I did not want to learn. I learned it because somebody made the gesture of sharing it to me. She/he taught me something because her/his competence. She/he didn’t teach me because it was important to me, but because it was important for her or for him. Therefore, it can, also, become important to me. Nothing is of no importance, everything can be important, everything can become important. I want to define the act of sharing—a work, a skill, a thought, an experience—as an act of competence. We/I will share what I/we am/ are competent for. We/I must ourselves/myself decide what I am competent of. To be competent means to take responsibility. I want to create the conditions in which to share our competences, all kind of competences we own, as human beings. “What can I learn from you. What can you learn from me.” reflects the ambition and the attempt to create a universal work of art.

—Thomas Hirschhorn


Thomas Hirschhorn is a Swiss artist based in Paris. Whether working in museums, galleries and alternative spaces, or with specific works in public spaces, he asserts his commitment to a non-exclusive public. His work has been presented at major institutions and international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale; documenta11 in Kassel, Germany; São Paulo Biennale; 55th Carnegie International, Pittsburgh; La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Shanghai Biennale; Manifesta 10, Saint Petersburg, Russia; Atopolis Mons, Belgium; and South London Gallery. Among numerous awards and prizes, Hirschhorn has received Preis für Junge Schweizer Kunst (1999), Marcel Duchamp Prize (2000), Roland Prize for Public Art (2003), Joseph Beuys Prize (2004), and Kurt Schwitters Prize (2011).



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