Virus Display uses cheap materials to create shabby vitrines, display cases, and plinths, illuminated by naked fluorescent bulbs and all connected by tinfoil-wrapped power cables winding from display to display.
The display cases contain scraps of cardboard covered with felt-tip pen doodles, suggesting bacteria or viruses, and are often shown together with postcards of suffering refugees, bombed-out buildings, masked guerrillas, naked fashion models, and advertising images culled from mass media, perhaps suggesting capitalism is the viral system to which he alludes. On one side of the room, Hirschhorn has installed what appears to be a decontamination chamber that is sealed off and inaccessible, and may hint at biological terrorism or deadly government experiments run afoul.
The piece also features two videos shown on a pair of weathered and stacked TV sets. On the top screen, a sinister fellow wearing a suit and ski mask lectures about the nature of viruses. Below, another guy shot from the neck down shakes wildly as if already infected.
This unflinching statement is not only a powerful metaphor for affluent Western societies diseased by festering contradictions, but also hands-down the show's won't-be-fucking-denied pièce de résistance and a credit to FNAC's vision.