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Tuesday, October 16, 2021

say ahh-rt
Now, finally, I have a solid reason for visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Because starting today, Damien Hirst’s shark-and-formaldehyde oddity, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”, will make its home on the museum’s second floor.

If the killer-fish-in-amber visual motif doesn’t make it for you, maybe a life-affirming interpretation will:

In keeping with the piece’s title, the shark is simultaneously life and death incarnate in a way you don’t quite grasp until you see it, suspended and silent, in its tank. It gives the innately demonic urge to live a demonic, deathlike form.

But be aware, this shark is second-string:

The shark in the tank is a recent replacement of the original, which more or less disintegrated. It is smaller but more fierce, and it seems to surge forward, ready to pounce on some unseen prey just beyond the tank. If you bend down and peer through its sharply jagged teeth, you’ll be looking past the pure white mouth at the large black hole of its gullet. It’s a reasonable visual metaphor for the crossing-over that we think will never happen.

I assume the Met is taking a page from Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”, in an effort to score an art-world equivalent of a winning sweeps week. But hey, it’ll work on me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/16/2007 08:41:41 AM
Category: TV, Creative, New Yorkin' | Permalink |

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