“SWISS CONVERTER”

At Herzliya I will show Swiss Converter. Swiss Converter is a machine or a person or a system that converts goods. Converting is neither an exchange nor a transfer. Converting is an action without responsibility, without morals. I chose the name converter with the “cash-converter” shops in my nieghborhood in mind. These shops are capitalism in its last pure state. On one side there are people that bring their last goods (camera, computers, hi-fi, T.V. sport-equipemtent, housewares…) to convert into cash at a low low price. These people are under pressure, at a dead end; they are “loosers”. On the other side there is the one who converts. He is an oppurtunist. He uses other peoples’ distress and misfortune for profit. This remindes me of Swiss Nazi-gold. That is why the work is called Swiss-Converter. While the converters are not the “winners” they are not yet the “loosers”.

At Herzliya the machine, the person, the system, will be in the form of an encolsed space both inside and outside the museum or outside the museum as an interrupted mechanism. The two-sided space with interior and exterior is like the two sides in a cash-converter shop, where one brings the goods to be converted and where one can buy the displayed goods. But, in Swiss-Converter all objects on view will be linked together without seperation between catagories. They are linked together regardless of where they exist, interior or exterior and they demonstrated their own particular system. The objects will be objects of culture, history, knowledge, body, nature, etc. Their link with one another is their poor (and cheap) fabrication, gold and cardboard watches, gold bars on cardboard, photocopies, plastic, aliminum foil, bad photographs, bad vides etc. The entire Swiss Converter is presented like a cheap, poorly made, quickly made display like a machine on stand by, the stand by of a capitalist, end-capitalist mechanism.

Thomas Hirschhorn

Paris, 19.06.1998