Born in 1961 in Vienna, Austria, Andreas J. Hirsch lives and works there as a writer, photographic artist, and art curator. His writing, photography and curatorial work inform and inspire each other, while their topics sometimes overlap.
He obtained his PhD in Law from the University of Vienna in 1986. After years in various professions including press photographer and director of radio drama, theater management, technology marketing, and newspaper publishing to curatorial work with an emphasis on media art and photography – after the turn of the millennium, he returned to an intense focus on his own work as a photographic artist and as a writer.
Topics from Digital Transformation to Ecological Turnaround
In his work, topics around aspects of the digital transformation are complemented with topics relating to a necessary ecological turnaround. He has been following the digital transformation and its implications for cultures and the human condition over more than three decades as a writer, curator, juror and speaker.
When dealing with questions around the human-made, impending ecological desaster, he finds inspiration and encouragement from a long lineage of ecological pioneers, present day activists and – ultimately – in learning from nature itself.
In his projects and books referring to the history and the future of humankind and the “conditio humana,” he strives to reflect the ways in which cultural histories can instruct our understanding of present day situations and the ways how we shape the future.
Work As a Photographic Artist
His photographic oeuvre ranges from conceptual portraiture to urban explorations with inspirations from psychogeography. In 2016 he started the ongoing portrait series “LOVE OVER HATE – The Art of Peace,” which has been exhibited repeatedly at various locations in Austria and Italy; works from this series received an Honorable Mention from the 15th Julia Margaret Cameron Award in 2020. The project “RE-READING THE CITY – Views of the Posturban Condition” was presented at Ars Electronica Festival 2015 in Linz, Austria, and works from his series “Notes from the Island,” resulting from a residency with Galleria Cult in Alghero and Bosa, Sardegna, were shown at Museo Casa Manno, Alghero, and Museo Casa Deriu, Bosa, in 2017 and 2021. The conceptual series “Have You Seen This? – A Photographic Odyssey through Salzburg” was exhibited in 2019 in the Traklhaus at the Salzburg Fortress. His book of photography on “Beethoven in Vienna” (Edition Lammerhuber, Baden) was published in 2019. His book of photography and poetry “WALKING IN YOUR SLEEP – 88 Photographs and 33 Songs” came out in 2023.
Andreas J. Hirsch’s writings include books on Pablo Picasso, Ludwig van Beethoven, Tina Modotti, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and HR Giger, on the history of Vienna and the history of Ars Electronica, as well as the children’s book “Florian Featherlight and the Quest for the Magic Pearl” (together with the artist Alexandra Uccusic).
He was curator of KUNST HAUS WIEN from 2009 until 2014, responsible for several large monographical exhibitions of photography including Tina Modotti, René Burri, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Linda McCartney, and Andreas H. Bitesnich. He has worked with artists as diverse as Franz West, Bill Fontana, Scott S. Snibbe and HR Giger. He served on numerous juries including Prix Ars Electronica, Eyes in Progress Reviewer’s Panel and eyes on – Month of Photography Vienna Portfolio and Project Reviews. In 2022 he was entrusted with the editorship of the book “Reden wir über Fotografie (Let’s Talk About Photography)” by the distinguished photo historian Hans-Michael Koetzle.