Simple, is the first word that comes to mind when checking out the Damien Hirst exhibition at the Tate Modern. Featuring a selection of artworks following the development of his career and some of his most iconic works, the exhibition felt a little dispersed and incoherent. It also featured concepts simple enough for a very broad audience to grasp.
Unlike the Johan Zoffany exhibition that I saw at the Royal Academy of Art, the Hirst exhibition seemed to lack the same technical triumphs which I witnessed on numerous canvases by Zoffany. The Hirst exhibition really brought to light the inevitable question ‘what is art’ and ‘what should/could be considered as art’.
“I need a doctor, call me a doctor” as Eleven/Amy’s song goes! That certainly couldn’t have been more relevant than after coming face to face with a severed pig’s head with blood and mosquitoes circling, farm animals sliced in half with their insides on display and all in the name of art. To be completely honest, I was absolutely nauseated throughout the entire show as the scent radiating from another “artwork”, (a giant ashtray filled with burnt cigarette buds) forced me to rush through the show in just a few short breaths. A challenge, had you been there and seen the never ending queues of people.
I understand that the desire to push boundaries in art can lead to some rather questionable choices but is this really the route? How about we leave taxidermy and preserving animals and organs in their own category as those interested can simply take a trip to the Royal College of Surgeons and check out the Hunterian Museum. Hoarders, well I assume nearly every family has at least one so just pay them a visit and save yourself the effort of seeing walls after walls filled with pills and pharmaceutical products!