Parallel to this year's book fair with its main focus on Switzerland, Portikus shows an exhibition by Thomas Hirschhorn, who was born in Bern, Switzerland, in 1957, and who today lives in Paris.

Hirschhorn is concerned with the creation of exhibition sites. For this, he uses existing, self-contained spaces such as stairwells, or open spaces such as streets, in which he presents his own pieces. Hirschhorn often builds ephemeral transparent housings, the windows and lighting of which highlight the exhibits. His topics stem from everyday life, as do the simple materials he uses, such as plastic, cardboard, or aluminium foil. Hirschhorn's works, in their manifestations, adequately realise their associative contents.

For Portikus, Hirschhorn has developed a special concept tuned to the room. The exhibition is entitled "Ein Kunstwerk, ein Problem" ("One art work, one problem"). Hirschhorn adds two wing-extensions to Portikus which can only be accessed from the inside, from the original exhibition room itself. The wing-extensions serve to expand the exhibition space; they can be seen into from the outside and will remain constantly illuminated.

The extensions to Portikus visibly represent the large amount, the excess of existing problems. In the extended exhibition room, ca. 20 works of art are shown, covered with plastic, each "connected" to a problem which is also presented.

The works are sculptures made of everyday materials such as cardboard or foil, and their abstract shapes are reminiscent of existing works of art. Hirschhorn therefore calls these objects "memories of sculptures". Each sculpture is connected with an aluminium leash to a board on which a problem is described. The problems are not dealt with scientifically; they are, moreover, as with the sculptures, recollected.

The problems thematized, such as "Swiss gold/Nazi gold", "Overweight", "Sorting refuse", "Quarrel over fishing grounds", "Unemployment", or "Comparing cars" stem from various social fields and are documented by illustrations and texts.

The sculptures and their boards are distributed freely throughout the room and also networked with each other, so that a tangle of problems is created. With this work, Hirschhorn wants to give new topicality to a phrase by Robert Walser: "Questions of life are questions of art, and questions of art are questions of life".