An Inclusive Litany

6/11/03

Fiachra Gibbons reports on the latest artistic forays of Damien Hirst in the Guardian June 11, 2003:

In a series of sculptures inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, which will be seen in London this autumn, Hirst will depict Jesus and the apostles as 13 pingpong balls bobbing on spurting fountains of red wine. A washing bowl to bathe Christ's feet will sit beneath their Formica table.

Hirst had wanted the balls to bob on blood but opted for wine, with all its symbolic echoes of the mass, in which Catholics believe wine is turned into the blood of Christ.

If that were not strong enough meat for many Christians, it will sit alongside a cow with six legs called In His Infinite Wisdom.

The fourth major piece in his next show at the White Cube gallery in London in September will be The Death of the Saints and the Ascension of Jesus, a sequence of "metaphorical" cabinets showing how Christ and the disciples met their ends. A pickled bull's head will sit in front of each cabinet.

[Ed.: This exhibit of seemingly more spiritual material represents the return of Hirst after a long bout of drunkedness, during which he admitted to have assembled many of his earlier works. Looking back, said Hirst, "I was a lunatic... there are things I have done which I now think, 'What the hell was I thinking?' ... I remember once I wanted to cover a pig in vibrators like a hedgehog. It was going to be called Pork-u-pine. Thank God, I didn't do it. But some things like that do get made."]

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