So earlier this year I went to Damien Hirsts’ exhibition (4 April – 9 September) at the Tate Modern, who didn’t?. I wish I didn’t. It was terribly underwhelming, the only consolation was that my girlfriend had Tate cards so it was free. The exhibition was made up of 14 rooms and displayed work all the way from Hirsts’ early career (8 pans, 1987), to pieces made in this decade like, For the Love of God, 2007. The sheer scale and variety of work on display, Im sure, will have made all of Hirsts’ assistants very proud as they watched the varies news reports and channel 4 interviews that inflated the spectacle of this “mid career retrospective”. My memories from the show are scattered and I am trying to keep this post brief so I wont go into to much detail. The spot paintings (other than the first one in the first room) are all the same and look like shit wallpaper. I enjoyed walking past each one and explaining as loudly as I could why I thought the structure of red, blue, green was so much better than yellow, turquoise, purple. Arguably one of Hirsts most famous pieces is The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991, or, the shark in a tank. With the off chance that Damien Hirst would actually one day read this I will address him directly, so if your not Damien Hirst look away now. Damien I have a proposition for you… two sharks in a tank, think about it. I didn’t get a chance to see the butterfly room (In and Out of Love, 1991). The installation is a space where real butterflies hatched from white canvases, fly around the room feeding on sugar and water and peoples dandruff until they mated, laid eggs and died, ready to be made into another work of art by the Doctor Dolittle of contemporary culture (Doorways to the Kingdom of Heaven, 2007).
The turbine hall had been converted into a mini club, fit with bouncers and queues that folded like the worlds most boring maze. Once your bag had been searched for whips and skull stealing apparatus you where shuffled inside along with 6 or 7 other people. The room was a pitch black square where in the centre, sat on a 5ft plinth, was For the Love of God. And that is what I wanted to scream after watching the public gather around their diamond idol and worship until the next batch of lemmings could be herded in to glimpse the depravity of contemporary art.
The gift shop offered a skateboard collaboration with supreme, selling decks for £400+. But if your a little to old and rich to skateboard maybe you would of liked a plastic skull painted in spilt house paint for just £36,800 (including VAT). I left my wallet with £36,800 at home, so I bought some postcards to prove to my tutors that I had been to the show. I later found out that you can buy a Plastic skull from medical student supply stores for less than £50. I don’t know how much glossy household paint is but as long as its not £36,750, you’ve saved yourself a pretty penny. If you make it yourself it will be more satisfying and almost identical to the skull in the gift shop because neither will have been made by Damien Hirst.