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Damien Hirst

Bad Environment for White Monochrome Paintings

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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A 50-foot corridor of glass and steel separates the viewing public from the gallery. There are four white monochrome paintings, 7' x 7', in each of the two galleries. Three, hanging on the walls, are sprayed with sugar water. One, propped horizontally on sawhorses, is sprayed with a clear adhesive that never dries.

In front of each painting are four black bowls. One bowl contains powdered sugar and powdered milk; another, covered with gauze, contains water. Two contain a mixture of molasses, wheat germ, yeast, and water, where flies would lay their eggs. Initially, maggots were placed in the medium, to begin the natural process. As the maggots become flies, they drink the water and eat the food, which is changed regularly.

The installation opened with a pristine cleanliness. As time passes, the flies multiply, and the space and the canvases become dirtier.

Curated by Sheena Wagstaff

Artist Statement

Art seems to be about life. I make art; I try to make it alive.

When

1994

About The Artist

Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. In 1984 he moved to London, where he worked in construction before studying for a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College from 1986 to 1989. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995. Since the late 1980s, Hirst has used a varied practice of installation, sculpture, painting, and drawing to explore the complex relationship between art, life, and death. Hirst’s work investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the tensions and uncertainties at the heart of human experience.

A 50-foot corridor of glass and steel separates the viewing public from the gallery. There are four white monochrome paintings, 7' x 7', in each of the two galleries. Three, hanging on the walls, are sprayed with sugar water. One, propped horizontally on sawhorses, is sprayed with a clear adhesive that never dries.

In front of each painting are four black bowls. One bowl contains powdered sugar and powdered milk; another, covered with gauze, contains water. Two contain a mixture of molasses, wheat germ, yeast, and water, where flies would lay their eggs. Initially, maggots were placed in the medium, to begin the natural process. As the maggots become flies, they drink the water and eat the food, which is changed regularly.

The installation opened with a pristine cleanliness. As time passes, the flies multiply, and the space and the canvases become dirtier.

Curated by Sheena Wagstaff

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