“Spinoza-Car”

The work “Spinoza-Car” is the work of a fan. It is the work of a fan of the philosopher Spinoza – this fan is me.

I decided to do a customized car, as thousands of people do out of love, commitment and admiration – not for Spinoza, not for a philosopher – but for a football-club, a rock star or other objects. Beside the fact of using a car – because I love cars – what links me to any other fan is not the shared object of love but the act of love, what I share is the commitment and admiration. A car is a universal form, it is also what I call a ’Megaform’. A ‘Megaform’ is a form which possesses proprieties beyond a specific function, a ‘Megaform’ is form as such.

There are two different kinds of elements in the “Spinoza-Car”: I call them the ‘spiritual’ ones and the ‘profanes’ ones. The ‘spiritual’ ones are all the commonly-used inscriptions and testimonies of love made of cardboard, books and other objects, and the ‘profane’ ones are all the drinking glasses taped to the car.

During his life Spinoza was a lens grinder. By using the glass-elements, I wanted to give a form to this other activity of Spinoza. These drinking glasses stand for the ‘profane’, the ‘profane’ Spinoza himself used to work with, beside his ‘spiritual’ writing as a philosopher.

I love the philosophy of Spinoza, and above all, his book “Ethics”. I love “Ethics” for its logic: to follow his implacable logic through the “Proposition”, “Definition”, “Scholium” and “Corollary” – is a moment of absolute intensity and never ending beauty. I love Spinoza for his universality, his strength and for the fact that he conceived the notion “God” beyond religion. I love Spinoza’s invention of affects of joy and affects of sadness. And I love that Spinoza, as each real philosopher, established a form. As an artist this concerns me directly because form – which is essential in art is also important in philosophy. Even if I cannot – for the moment – understand everything in Spinoza’s thinking – I can be touched by its form.

I am for ever a fan of Spinoza, I – as every fan – love everything concerning Spinoza. I love him unconditionally, therefore I decided to do the “Spinoza-Car”.

(“Spinoza-Car” was first shown as an ‘integrated work’ within “The Bijlmer Spinoza-Festival”, a ‘Presence’ and ‘Production’-work in public space, that I did in Amsterdam 2009.)

Thomas Hirschhorn, 2012