Robert Hirsch (b. 1949), World in a Jar: War and Trauma, 2004; mixed media, 850 black & white photographs in 32-ounce glass jars with plastic lids, stacked 4 rows high on a 50 x 4 x 2 foot serpentine display pedestal; with 10 40 x 60-inch enlarged prints, installation size varies; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Collectors Club Fund, 2008
Robert Hirsch’s installation World in a Jar: War & Trauma is a collection of 850 black & white photographs, each preserved in a clear 32-ounce glass jar with a black lid. The photographs are made largely from portions of appropriated historical images that have been re-energized to emphasize a litany of horrors from the wars and traumas of the past three centuries. Each print contains two of the same images on a black field so that when the jars are viewed, the same image is visible from either side. The jars are stacked and displayed in a serpentine pattern on a white minimalistic, fifty-foot arch-shaped pedestal. Ten individual images, enlarged into 40 x 60 inch prints, are hung on the walls around the installation.