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Origin of Damien Hirst’s Species

Cine erau ereticii care sustineau ca ne tragem din maimute? Darwin si inca unul, stiu ca mai era cineva. A, da! Damien Hirst! Stiam ca isi va da arama pe fata! Un eretic. Si acum, fireste, Hirst picteaz coperta ereziei originare – “Originea Speciilor” a lui Darwin.

Absolut adecvat. Damien Hirst ii aduce un omagiu lui Darwin, cel care l-a invatat cate ceva despre evolutie, moarte, ateism and the food-chain. Fara Darwin there’s no Damien, ca sa nu mai vorbim desre noi restul.

Pe de alta parte, e trist cumva. Cu toata gloria artistica de pe lume, Damien Hirst nu va simti niciodata ce inseamna sa fii “eretic” – tot glamourul unei vieti traite in pericol de linsare constanta, petrecuta in lupta cu valorile imuabile a secole si secole. Hirst a avut parte de varianta mai sclipicioasa dar mai putin viscerala – Hirst e socant si genial dar a venit prea tarziu pentru a se mai lupta cu vreun balaur vechi de secole. Pentru ca de fapt Hirst se integreaza foarte bine in lumea lui… si-atunci faptul ca admira curajul lui Darwin vine cu acest strop de melodrama, pentru ca Hirst fiind, trebuie sa-l invidiezi pe Darwin, macar putin.

Bine, Damien Hirst e incontestabil. Atat de incontestabil … “ceva”, incat mi-e intodeauna teama sa vorbesc despre el. Bine ca vorbeste el in acest interviu din The Guardian:

“Damien Hirst salutes Darwin’s ‘courage’ in On the Origin of Species painting
Darwin’s ideas ‘questioned the very fabric of existence and belief’, writes Damien Hirst, who painted the cover art for the 150th anniversary edition of the naturalist’s great work

I was given a paperback copy of On the Origin of Species many years ago by a friend and I loved it, especially the contentious aspects of it. Being brought up a Catholic and questioning the nonsensical creation theory, it was exciting.

At the time I was in the habit of visiting the Leeds City Museum, which displayed stuffed animals accompanied by labels explaining their origins. I also used to attend the World Wildlife Fund lectures on a Saturday afternoon.

So it was an honour to be asked to create a cover for this 150th anniversary edition of On the Origin of Species. This particular painting is called “Human skull in space” (oil on canvas), and, as in a lot of my work, there’s a nod to the scientific.

The painting sits firmly in the tradition of “still life” and is made up of objects I’ve come to imbue with my own meanings, some of them Darwinian in origin, and that I guess are seen in other areas of my work. The painting has an X-ray-like quality to it, as if it is revealing something about the structure of the objects painted.

I suppose the work, in a modest way, acknowledges Darwin’s analytical mind and his courage to believe in those ideas that questioned the very fabric of existence and belief in his time.

Copyright: Damien Hirst 2009

The anniversary edition of On the Origin of Species is published in hardback by Penguin Classics on 12 February (Darwin’s birthday)”

via The Guardian

Da, si intreagul tiraj se va vinde la Sotheby’s pentru milioane de lire si nimeni nu va vedea vreodata vreo copie. Ha!

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