Critique of Jacob Hashimoto's When Nothing Ends, Nothing Remains
April 11, 2017
Department or Program
Art History and Visual Culture Studies
The artist Jacob Hashimoto has recently enjoyed an increase in fame and critical attention accompanying his numerous site-specific permanent installations. Whitman College commissioned its own Hashimoto installation for Penrose Library in 2014 and came to fruition in 2016 with the completion of When Nothing Ends, Nothing Remains. This piece recalls aspects of Hashimoto's traditional oeuvre, though it also departs from his signature aesthetic in significant ways that speak to his own career trajectory and the interests of Whitman College. In my presentation I use a Marxist frame and read the work of Walter Benjamin against the Hashimoto installation. I also consider the formal aspects of the sculpture and explore the ways in which this Hashimoto piece may reflect Whitman's interest in the artist's notoriety more than the demonstrated aesthetic concerns of the artist himself.