Damien Hirst is an artist who will not leave you indifferent, and perhaps, for me, that is his greatest success. I must confess that I am not a big fan of his work. I went to see his exhibition in Venice during the Biennale with curiosity because I had read several articles about it, but with the distance of not being a big fan of his work.

I must say that it is, without a doubt, a colossal job by the number of pieces, 198, the size of many of them, with an 18-meter sculpture, the 10 years of preparation that it has and a £50 million production budget.

The fact that is showed in two spaces like the Palazzo Grassi and the tip of the Dogana already makes of it an exhibition that is worthwhile visiting just for the halls that host it.

I first visited Palazzo Grassi and I must admit that seeing its central courtyard invaded by the headless Colossus really impresses. Videos of the alleged recovery of the obas of the bottom of the sea and a smaller format works present in this site make you sometimes really doubt the truth of the story of the sunken ship until you get to the images of Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Baloo with Mowgli.

Then you smile and you understand that everything is a joke to make us think that the truth is so relative as what our eyes can see, getting us to fall into the post-truth. That is the true intention of Hisrt with this exhibition.

The Punta della Dogana artworks are larger and also very striking as the Mayan calendar piece and some contemporary pieces make you realize, if you still have not noticed that it is all a game and an illusion.

In my opinion, if you go to Venice to visit the Biennale, it is definitely worth going to see this exhibition as it will not leave you indifferent about what makes the human being a creator of truth and illusion. I am curious to know that you think when you see it. Please let me know…

 

Tamara Kreisler