• Past

  • DAMIEN HIRST – NEW RELIGION
  • 2012.06.03 - 2012.08.26
    Beijing, China

“I can’t understand why some people believe completely in medicine but not in art, without questioning either.”
——Damien Hirst, 1991
Throughout the course of Damien Hirst’s career, belief has been at the heart of his work. Early medicine cabinets such as God, 1989, pitched an unquestioning belief in scientific rationalism – the conviction that pills can cure you – against the more subjective belief in religion and the redemptive healing power of God. This equation gave form to Hirst’s disappointment that a belief in art did not exist in a similar manner to the way that God or science might be unquestionably believed in. Without this belief in art, any sense of meaning is dissipated; it being through the artifice of art and its formal structures that the illusions of life can be recognised.
‘New Religion’, Hirst’s latest project, is grounded in belief and extends this outlook in new directions. The different elements that make up ‘New Religion’ form a chapel dedicated to desire, a desire to keep mortality at bay but which can’t help confront death at the same time. Belief in religion and medicine is grounded in this desire, confirmed here by its representation as art; where, for instance, The Holy Trinity is presented as a pie-chart that through logic attempts to prove the wholly unprovable.
Thirteen sets of the complete series of prints and sculptural objects will each be held in a specially constructed devotional case or reliquary, offering a faint echo of Marcel Duchamp’s strategy of creating a portable museum of his own career in his Boîte-en-valise, 1941-68. ‘New Religion’ does not, however, provide us with a museum of Hirst’s own career, but instead succinctly sums-up and extends his treatment of issues such as belief, mortality, love, seduction and consumption that have steadfastly remained the themes that have dominated his work and given it meaning over the last 15 or more years.



“我很难理解为什么有些人全然相信医学而非艺术,尽管他们事前对两者都从未求证。”
——达明安·赫斯特

信仰这一命题贯穿达明安·赫斯特艺术生涯始终。他早期的药橱系列作品如《上帝》(1989年)体现了这种对科学理性主义无条件的信仰——对药物治疗作用的无疑确信已然可以媲美更为主观的、对宗教的信仰和上帝救赎治愈的力量。这种对等让赫斯特对人们艺术的信仰感到失望,因为人们对艺术的信仰并非如对上帝和科学的信仰那样虔敬毫无保留。然而如果没有对艺术的信仰,任何对于意义的感知都将不复存在,艺术通过精妙技巧和形式感的构造,使生命中的幻觉得到了认证。

赫斯特创作于2005年的作品《新教派》立足于信仰这一母题并将其视野投向新的方向。在“新教派”展览中出现的各个元素建筑成一座供奉欲望的礼拜堂,这欲望觊觎永生却不得不同时面对死亡。对宗教或是医学的信仰同样植根于这种欲望,在这个展览中,这两种信念交织于此,以艺术的形式被呈现出来。举例而言,三位一体的概念用饼状图诠释,试图用逻辑的途径证明根本上的的不可证明性。
十三套完整的版画和雕塑作品分别被放置在特别制作的圣物匣里,隐隐呼应马歇尔•杜尚在创作《Boîte-en-valise》(中译:手提箱中的盒子,1941-68年)时采取的“可携带的作品博物馆”这一观念。《新教派》虽未如这一作品一样,提供一个赫斯特艺术创作的博物馆,但却精炼的总结和延展了他对如宗教,生死,爱,诱惑和挥霍等主题的一贯处理。这一主题保留和继续探讨着长期占据他作品的中心位置,并被他在过去的十五年直到今天都在反复定义。

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