Mark Hipper


The Inquisitors, 2002, installation, wood, various dimensions
Blume, 2001, watercolour on paper (BFK Rives), 108 X 108cm
'Interim' series, 2001, watercolour on paper (BFK Rives), 108 X 108cm
Punish and Discipline 2, 1999, mixed media, 50 X 60cm
The Metaphysics of Architecture, 2001, Charcoal drawing on paper (Fabriano), 183 X 153cm


      "When our surroundings reflect our engagement in it, orientation becomes a task of both extrovert (radiant) and introvert (absorbent) activity. We very much share this notion that everything matters even though we never share the same everything. This is my surroundings surrounded."

      Olafur Eliasson in Weibel (2002), pp. 658

    Hippers art can be read as a corollary to the experience of subjectivity in a society desperately trying to live up to its own prescriptions, circumscriptions, fictions - in short, its defining violence. It is pornographic. It is paedophilic. It is also against porn, against paedophilia - a fulcrum or a weathervane of the culture. We live in a deeply conservative country, imbued, defined, interpolated with violence. When walls tumble outside, they re-assemble inside. Not only do we maintain the illusion of a consensual society, but we also maintain the illusion of stable, autonomous identity. We still choose to believe. There is violence in fitting in, and there is violence in being excluded. One hates just as passionately as one loves. The damage - if we are to employ evaluative criteria - accrued in this process can be massive. Not only does Hipper record impressions, expressions, conditions of self, of subjectivity within and as a consequence of this violence - mysterious, dark, exuberant, erotic, and terrifying as it is - he simultaneously records his recording, surrounds his surroundings. We are all implicated in this drama: suicided by art as art.

    Art does not reflect society. Art is just one of the many ways we fulfil the imperative of creating the capacity for imagining that society exists in the first place.

    Mark Hipper fulfils this anti-dialectic by presenting an art of surrender which is at once inclusive (radiant - visible, openly read) and exclusive (absorbent - invisible, inscrutable, too fast), art which allows access to thinking, to living. An art which cancels any easy notions of representation, subject/object dialectics, or the lofty transcendence of an historicized liberation by over-fulfilling or overloading such demands. It is an art of the engagement of intention (surroundings) and outcome (orientation) in such a manner that "everything matters even though we never share the same everything." The highest affirmation of perspective and creativity.

    Paul Wessels - extract from "Suicided by Art", Donga, January 2003