Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Most of the time they are selling shit to fools, and it’s getting worse, (Damien Hirst, 2004): Researching the possibility of ‘For The Love Of God’ and ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’ as performative critiques of the market.

Above; The head auctioneer calling for bids at Sotheby's Beautiful Inside My Head Forever sale.
Below right; Hirst licking For The Love of God.

‘Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art’ (Warhol, 1975).

‘Something that so much of today’s art mirrors and thus criticises, decadence. Not so, it’s just decadent full stop. It has no critical function, it is part of the problem. The artworld dutifully copies our money driven, celebrity obsessed entertainment culture.’ (Hughes, 2008)

I have been investigating where Hirst lies between two such vastly different critical opinions and art theories, trying to discover whether these two works are merely a pinnacle within our art-consumerist society, or seriously question the contemporary world around it. Is it possible that we have witnessed the most spectacular critical assault of the art market to date, or merely the emergence of commercial art, so fixated on financial gain that it no longer maintains any conceptual or theoretical integrity?

In my paper I argue that both these events where indeed performances, whether the players were aware of it at the time or not and describe why they were so spectacular.

Interestingly Hirst touched on this idea recently in the Channel 4 show “Damien Hirst: The first look’ saying, “A lot of people think that was like some big artwork. I mean I’ve never really thought of it like that but I suppose in retrospect it was”.

For the full paper including interview transcripts with Ben Lewis (Art Critic and Film Maker) and Iwona Blazwick (OBE, Director, the Whitechapel Gallery) click here.

Ps. Please do get in touch with your thoughts!

No comments:

Post a Comment