Damian Hirst’s Exhibition at Palazzo Grassi in Venice

Report by VEDITU: collettivo di ricerca sul contemporaneo (www.veditu.blogspot.it)

 Volume 1, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

The scientists, from Galileo to Newton, interested in arts and history, always have had some collections where there was everything; from the Unicorn’s bone to the sphere for premonitions, the potions to feel good to the alchemical texts.

The exhibition of Damian Hirst, which opened Thursday at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, is in this framework, in the mass of a thousand things that any intellectual retained, in the times when it was thought that culture was universal, that each of us, individually, could collect all the knowledge the world was offering.

A huge amount, of uneven objects, that have little to do with each other.

Damien Hirst, the father of the young British artist, after years puts himself out there with this giant exhibition completely changing himself and his work. There are no provocations, animals, drugs, colored dots. In this sense, the bet is high, because it takes the scene abandoning what made him famous, refusing to repeat itself, if not for the wealth. It seems that like the Gagosian of 20 years ago, even the good Pinault has provided unlimited funds.

The story is simple: in 2008 it was discovered that the wreck of a ship sank off the east coast of Africa, belonged to Cif Amotan II, a freedman of Antioch who lived between I and II century AD. He freed himself from slavery and gathered an immense fortune among art works, jewelry, antiques, and spoils of war. This treasure was loaded onto his ship to be brought to a temple, but it never arrived at its destination. Then the recent discovery, the re-emergence of encrusted artifacts from the sea, sometimes very damaged. That this story is a complete fabrication is unimportant. The story holds in the exhibition beyond the inconsistencies.

So triune works: sculptures rebuilt as new, falsely sculptures subjected to spend time on the seabed, video or picture of their recovery. Here, size matters: from tiny gold sculptures to the 18 meters of the giant’s height that fills the courtyard of Palazzo Grassi (Demon with Bowl). Also the materials: gold, silver, bronze, black and white granite.

The challenge is to create, provide the public with a story, a fairy tale. Herein will lie the success or failure of this exhibition. Beyond the technical expertise, the cost of production of this enormity similar to a collection, the impression that is created is truly to enter in a strange archaeological museum. And this also serves the ornaments, such as the caskets with the collections of fake rare shells, which are a fall in the tension of the exhibition. They certainly will not be sold at a high price, but they offset, creating the image of the museum. Basically in any discovery there can be the wonderful, but also the tool, the consumer good, the shell.

The materials are conventional ones; the works have an aspect that can be ambiguously connected to experiences already lived. We are surprised for the size of the caskets, in a much elaborated fictional language that makes this surplus of fantastic syncretism, between myth and cartoon, surrealism and jewel, gods and monsters in a credible collection of the wonders of an invented world. So much so that a toy, a robot, put into glass case, all of gold, with its excellent caption, can certainly represent a deity and the incredible abilities in aging of works with rust, sponges, algae and shells, just as fake, which makes it plausible marine finds.

The fairy tales, the stories, at the dawn of humanity was needed to  recognize, ritualize and defeat the real and imaginary dangers, to reconnect with nature. Even with the advent of the novel, the narrative has maintained, according W.Benjamin, its function: “on the one hand the meaning of life, the other the moral of the story”. Damien offers this in the exhibition, a fairy tale and a game, that ridiscute a large part of contemporary art that instead brings to the concept, to the minimalism of the artistic gesture and of the space that contains it. Here is the provocation of the treasures from the wreck of the unbelievable, the real controversial point and the novelty. Certainly coming out of this experience, the public cannot say, “This I could do it myself.”  It may pleasure at the Market?

Images: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/SIAE 2017 & Photographed by Christoph Gerigk © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/SIAE 2017

Call for Papers

The Chitrolekha Journal on Art and Design is a scholarly platform for discussions on the evolution and intercategorial development of art and design. The journal explores arts both as a mode of signaling as well as being in an ontological sense. The mystery of the first arts of our ancestors intrigues us today, from a scientific as much as an aesthetic perspective. Similarly the future of arts leads us to think of things quite unknown to us. The scope of the journal therefore, will be open-ended so as to be able to incorporate and address emerging areas in human arts and sciences. Research papers on any of the following broad areas can be submitted:

  • History and Prehistory of Art
  • Visual Studies
  • Performance Arts
  • Intersections
  • Art and Religion
  • Art and Technology
  • Design and Culture
  • Art, Ecology, Environment
  • Contemporary Art
  • Commercial design aesthetics
  • Textiles, Fashion, Perishable Arts
  • Handicrafts and Heritage Preservation & Management

Publication Schedule: We follow Continuous Publication model and we start publishing articles once the reviews are complete. In every quarter the articles will be clubbed together as an issue under a year (as Volume).

Submission Deadline: There is no deadline as we follow Continuous Publication model. Once the article is reviewed and passed, we will publish it.

Contact: Send your submission the Section Editors at ttm1974 [AT] gmail.com and/or editor [AT] chitrolekha.com

Submission Guidelines: Please follow the Guidelines here>>

Practice and Pedagogy of Indian Classical Dance (ICD): Analysis in Comparison with India’s Folk and Bollywood Dances

Ojasi Sukhatankar[1]

  Volume 6, Number 2, 2016 I Full Text PDF

Article DOI:  10.21659/chitro.v6n2.03

Received on April 25, 2016.
Accepted on June 13, 2016.
Published on July 14, 2016.


This article studies practice and pedagogy of three dance genres, namely folk, classical and Bollywood dance that co-exist in today’s India. First, it studies India’s folk and Bollywood dance genres, based on which are drawn five parameters of comparison. Second, it analyses the practice of Indian classical dance forms (ICDs) under these five parameters. Third, it discusses the pedagogic practice of all the three genres, and analyses how the traditional pedagogic manner (guru-shishya parampara) of ICDs has contributed to maintenance and expansion of their knowledge-repertoires. The article concludes by presenting core similarities and differences in the practice and pedagogy of all three genres.

 Keywords: Bollywood, Classical, Dance, Folk, Genre, India

[1] Mrs Ojasi Sukhatankar (Master of Arts in Dance Cultures, Histories and Practices from University of Surrey, Guildford, UK & Bachelor of Engineering from University of Pune, India) is a classical Kathak exponent, teacher, choreographer, performer, dance-critic and software engineer, with national and international experience.

Call for Papers on Visual Culture in the Indian Subcontinent


Call for Papers on Visual Culture in the Indian Subcontinent

The Chitrolekha Magazine is inviting articles, essays and photo essays on the visual culture on the Indian subcontinent right from the prehistoric to the modern times. Submissions can be made on the following topics/areas (not exclusive but suggestive):

  • New Perspectives on the origin of Art in the Indian Subcontinent
  • Issues in the History of Art in the Indian Subcontinent
  • Religious Architecture and Philosophy
  • Aesthetics of Town-planning
  • Paintings in the Indian Subcontinent—history, forms and evolution
  • Sacred sculptures—interpretations of the iconographies.
  • Religious movements and the production of art objects
  • Theories of Art
  • Artisans—conditions and creations
  • Foreign influences and their incorporation
  • Ethnography, ethnicity and creation of art as a symbolic assertion
  • The science of art—technology, techniques, experiments and materials.

We cordially invite your opinions, suggestions for inclusion of other topics and contributions to the topics.

Word-limit: 2000-5000 words (including notes and references)

Style-sheet to follow: APA

Contact: Tarun Tapas Mukherjee & Sreecheta Mukherjee at editor@chitrolekha.com and ttm1974@gmail.com

Submission Deadline September 30, 2015.

Expected Schedule of Publication: December, 2015.

Detailed Submission Guidelines: www.chitrolekha.com/submission/call-for-papers.php

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