Hrvoje Hiršl: The Limit of Representation

Performative online lecture and talk

Thursday, 03/04 at 18.00

Installation in the window of the Nova Gallery will be on display from 08/03 to 13/03/2021

To see is to touch. Nothing is really seen, only represented.

Through a format of performative lecture on the Zoom platform and a presentation installation in the window of the Gallery Nova, artist Hrvoje Hiršl will present his research of representation through reflection on the quantum level and human experience.

In the continuation of the Coexistence project, initiated within Gallery Nova program in 2020, primarily relying on light, and further building on sound, we move against the self-evident aspects of these forms, both in the socio-cultural context and in the context of the genre itself. In the first in a series of performative lectures and presentation installations, we enter this topic indirectly, and we deal with light intermediately, through the act of seeing and representing.

As the author points out: „The quantum realm shows us what really is the act of seeing. As an act of touch, in a sense, it is an aggressive act, an act of bombarding a certain object with photons or other waves. To see something, we need to bounce billions of particles or waves from the object’s surface so we can receive them with our devices or senses. In a way, if we don’t touch it, if we don’t interact with it, it doesn’t register for us, it is not there, it doesn’t exist. To see the unseen and the unseeable, we need some sort of representation. The unseeable is a hypothesis, a theory, a construct that hasn’t been proven yet. When we prove it, when it becomes part of our habitual experience, we can finally see it. Our eyes see just a fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum, primarily visible light, and even there just a limited frequency range; we don’t see infrared or ultraviolet.“

Hiršl therefore presents „the act of understanding as an act of seeing. And to understand it is to recognize it. To recognize something means it has already been experienced before. It means that we are seeing new things as old ones, as something that we have already seen.“ In this experimental lecture, Hrvoje Hiršl will cover the issues of the boundaries of representation and visibility at the edge of our senses and mind, but also demonstrate how artists can participate in discovering knowledge by speculative methods.

Hrvoje Hiršl is an artist, researcher and a designer. His art projects are at the crossing of contemporary art and media art discourse. His main themes range from materiality of the art object, deconstruction of its aura and the limitations of the medium. In the last five years his interests shifted more into complex systems, automation and cybernetics. His work encompasses: sound, video and interactive installations, prints, etc. Recipient of the Bildraum Studio 2020 (Vienna), Crossing Parallels 2020 (Delft), DordtYart Artists in Residence 2015 (Dordrecht), TRIBE Residency 2013 (Istanbul, Prague, Ljubljana) and Kulturkontakt Artists in Residence 2012 (Vienna). In 2012 invited to participate in Documenta (13), Kassel, Germany, as part of the AND AND AND program. One of the Croatian Representatives at the Design Biennale in London in 2016. In 2012 nominated for Radoslav Putar Award for the best Croatian artist under 35. In 10 years of artistic activity he had 11 solo exhibitions and over 40 group exhibitions. He is a member of AR.S (algoresearch.systems) research collective and founder of the I’MM_Media Lab in Zagreb. Currently working on a book project for Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam. The publication is set for the first quarter of 2021.

The project Coexistence 2: Spaces of Light, curated by Martina Kontošić, will explore the possibilities of building new production and exhibition methodologies and alternative discursive approaches through light-sound interventions.

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, the City of Zagreb and Kultura nova Foundation.