Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, November 11, 2021

fresh meat
I get the sense that artiste-provocateur Damien Hirst won’t be invited to any PETA rallies anytime soon. On the heels of having his dead-shark opus, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”, exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hirst is unveiling another animal-carcass art installation in New York, this one specially-commissioned for the lobby of the landmark Lever House building at Park and 54th.

Yes, there’s a dead shark in this one, too. But that’s just the start:

Lining the entire lobby will be some 15 medicine cabinets (a past theme for Mr. Hirst) filled with thousands of empty boxes and bottles with labels for antidepressants, cough medicine and other drugs. The 30 sheep are lined up in rows of formaldehyde-filled tanks, evoking docile schoolchildren in a classroom.

Submerged in a 12-foot-tall tank are two sides of beef, a chair, a chain of sausages, an umbrella and a birdcage with a dead dove. Mr. Hirst describes it as an homage to Francis Bacon’s 1946 “Painting” at the Museum of Modern Art, which depicts cow carcasses suspended in a crucifix shape.

Mr. Hirst said the installation — which cost $1 million to assemble — is in fact a nod to a host of modern artists. “We’ve got everybody in here,” he said. There is Dan Flavin (the strips of fluorescent lighting); Warhol (the notion of repetition, as in the rows of dead sheep); Joseph Cornell (the boxes encasing the dead animals); Jannis Kounellis, who uses live birds in his work; and René Magritte, who painted an egg in a bird cage.

For the record, none of the critters were ritually slaughtered at the altar of Hirst; all the meat used was already butchered and destined for food when it was artistically detoured.

I really think Hirst should branch out a bit. He should buy one of those veggie party platters — jumbo-sized, of course — and try his hand at herbivorous arrangements. Try signifying nihilistic decay with a broccoli floret!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/11/2021 11:51:09 AM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin'
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  1. HIRST’S LEVER HOUSE, UP CLOSE…

    After reading about Damien Hirst’s latest dead-animal artistic display, I couldn’t help but make the trek uptown to see it with my own eyes.
    So it is that I found myself in the lobby of Lever House this afternoon, gawking at tank after tan…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 11/13/2007 @ 10:06:59 PM

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