Art produced by YBA heavyweight, Damien Hirst, always seems to make the headlines. Whether it is stories about astronomical prices for pieces or tales from the artist’s own life, the newspapers and magazines are always interested in what Damien Hirst is up to.
The current feature for many is Hirst’s newest exhibition, held across two venues, the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in art hotspot, Venice, for this year’s Biennale.
Entitling the show, “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” Hirst has certainly sought to capture media attention it would seem. In an article on the show, the Guardian’s Sarah Hughes, has termed it “one of the most tightly guarded art exhibitions of recent years,”…but how has it been received?
In a fascinating short interview on the BBC’s Arts and Entertainment website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-39534654 ) Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, quizzes Hirst on the exhibition’s main exhibits and themes.
Hirst confirms that the 180 or more artefacts and objects on show are those from an imaginary ship which took place over 2000 years ago.
The items are supposed to have been part of an historic and extensive collection amassed by a great individual. On their website, the Palazzo Grassi confirm that the collector is called “Aulus Calidius Amotan – a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II”.
Included alongside the objects are photographs showing their underwater discovery. By including these photographs, Hirst really taps into the theme of belief as we really feel we are part of a major, historic discovery of an extraordinary body of work. The exhibition itself covers the whole process from the finding of the artefacts through to displaying of them.
Hirst tells Gompertz in the BBC video that “for me the show is about belief, and you can believe whatever you want to believe.” He continues, “I’ve spent so much time on it that it’s not a lie…I just believe it.”
Back on dry land, Hirst purports of have spent over £50million on this exhibition and when we consider the materials used to create these artworks – gold, crystal and bronze are among those listed – this figure makes more sense.
Not everyone, however, is pleased to see it’s unveiling. Activist group, Animalisti, the Guardian article confirms, have been responsible for depositing over 40 kilos of animal manure outside one of the two exhibition venues, the Palazzo Grassi. Their motivation is believed to stem from Hirst’s use of animal carcasses in a number of his previous works of art.
“Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” runs between 9 April 2017 and 3 December 2017 alongside Venice Biennale’s extensive programme of events and exhibitions.
To see images either visit Hirst’s own website or take a look at the official Palazzo Grassi’s website.
It is one of the most reviewed exhibitions and is nothing short of sensational. Our VEDO art consultants will be paying a visit to see whether we too are captivated by the make believe world of Hirst. Watch this space for more details.