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INSECTS (BARBED WIRE ENCYCLOPEDIA)

acrylic and lacquer on canvas
50 x 70 cm each
2015

«Insec­tum» (lat­in) lies at the root of such words as “inci­sion” or “insect”. And indeed do the paint­ings of var­i­ous types of barbed wire, of which this cycle is com­prised, resem­ble an insect col­lec­tion. The scaled up shapes of his­tor­i­cal barbed wire typolo­gies appear like strange crea­tures emerg­ing from a white back­ground. Beyond this asso­ci­a­tion, also the tech­nique, by which they are cre­at­ed, refers to inci­sions and cuts. In anal­o­gy to the func­tion­ing prin­ci­ple of barbed wire, the aim of which is to cause pain by wound­ing the skin and flesh of ani­mals and peo­ple and there­by to con­trol move­ment, the insec­tum-cycle is not ‘paint­ed’ in a con­ven­tion­al way. Instead, a thin skin of white lac­quer is wound­ed with knives, nails and wires in order to par­tial­ly reveal a ground coat of thick reds. From the indus­tri­al­iza­tion of the thorn bush to the glob­al­iza­tion of pain – the var­i­ous mod­els of barbed wire, which are at the same time ratio­nal inven­tions and sadis­tic instru­ments, unfold a social, polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic his­to­ry of moder­ni­ty. As the con­tem­po­rary medi­um for spa­tial sep­a­ra­tion, it reduces life to the sim­ple antag­o­nism of flesh and iron.

 

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Ear­ly Mer­rill, 1871), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Glidden’s Win­ner, 1874), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Ford’s Twist­ed Rib­bon, 1875), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Haish Improved S, 1875), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Wormley’s Y-Barb, 1875), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Merrill’s Skele­ton, 1876), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Burnell’s Hook­barb, 1877), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (McFar­land Four Point, 1877), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Randall Four Point, 1877), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Ran­dall Four Point, 1877), 2015

 

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Ross’s Four Point, 1877), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Reynold’s Nec­tie, 1878), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Upham’s S, 1878), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Wilkes‹ Two Sta­ple, 1879), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Shinn’s Four Point, 1881), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Spencer St. John’s H Barb, 1881), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Dodge&Washburn Four Point, 1882), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Deck­er Spread, 1884), 2015

Michael Hirschbich­ler, INSECTS (Kaiser, WW1), 2015

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