Thomas Hirschhorn's Chromatic Fire (2005) in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Image credit: MOCA.org
LA River School

“Chromatic Fire” at MOCA—The art of reality

Placed aside in Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art in a room alone, an art piece is displayed in a powerful and impactful manner, that leaves students attending a field trip inflicted with a whole different perspective of society.

“Lurid, macabre combination of human forms, news headlines, and graphic photojournalism defies passing viewing,” reads the description of The Chromatic Fire, an art piece that symbolizes the hidden reality of war and violence.

Thomas Hirschhorn’s 2005 piece “Chromatic Fire” is an art piece of a totally unseen perspective on the issues of media publication and is made of cardboard, paint, wood, tape, chains, carpet, cloth banner, screws, nails, mannequins,  electrical wire, printed materials, television monitors, fluorescent light fixtures, wooden beams with nail text, plastic compact disc, according to MOCA’s website.

Seeing the way these mannequins have not only been repeatedly drilled with copper and iron screws, but accompanied with multiple images of gruesome mangled bodies of Iraq and Afghanistan civilians. Reflecting what our government hides, Hirschhorn takes it upon himself and unveils the harsh reality experienced and witnessed throughout the world.

While viewing the artwork that Hirschhorn created, it was hard at first, watching disfigured people and not really understanding why the artist would display such graphic content.

With further observation, coming to focus with the description of the artist’s work, I noticed that Hirschhorn’s display is said to be paired with reproductions of Swiss artist Emma Kunz’s of therapeutic vibrational energy.

This is to say not all that you are told is the truth and can therefore be disguised. I believe Hirschhorn’s Chromatic Fire genuinely expresses the issues we face presently in society. The different set of lines displayed on the wall are strips of article headlines, some coming from actual speeches in regards to the long standing modern wars of today.

MOCA is a museum that hosts a plethora of modern day art that surrounds the present conflicts of society, class, life in general, and the hidden emotion and voices of the people. A place to not only observe artists work, but to receive insight on the real world.

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