Damien Hirst @ Tate Modern

In order to get my head a little free and refresh it before going back to packing-hell, I decided to visit the Tate Modern to take look on Damien Hirst‘s exhibition, which is the first major survey of his works held in London. It’s running since April and I’m ashamed that I didn’t go there earlier as this was undoubtedly one of the most inspiring things I came across during the past weeks.

Idiosyncratic, powerful and provocative – Hirst is one of the most prominent artists of his generation. Experiencing some of his most iconic works is not only the total joy of watching an artist evolving and constantly developing while remaining a personal note – it should also be a duty for everyone who’s a little more into installations and “moving things”.

Moving things? Yes. As I entered the third room I saw that huge vitrine filled with flies. First thought? “What is that supposed to be?”. After taking a look around, I couldn’t believe it – An arrangement of Hirst’s thoughts on the life cycle. Maggots developing to flies, then get fed on a severed cow’s head on the floor of the second part of the vitrine. Birth, death and decay are closely brought into one work and symbolizes the way man doesn’t have any control over everything. Strange enough, still super impressive and … kind of an experience to know how the head of a cow smells after rotting over there since April. (Work: A Thousand Years, 1990)

Hirst has created a Natural History series of animals preserved in cabinets and tanks and should remind of his spent childhood in Leeds. From skinned sheep heads to halved sheeps to mother and baby cow (both halved with a complete display of their inner body world), it seemed as if he had fun cutting some animals in halves and presenting them in a super controversial yet interesting way.

My favourites among the animals? The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Somone Living (1991), which displays a shark (!!!!) and In and Out of Love, which is all about butterflies. Lively and dead. It’s a grotesque way of first seeing beautiful (!) butferflies flying around in simply one room (eclosing from cocoons stuck on white canvas) and then watching them dead (still beautiful) resembled on huge canvas in an incredible way of order.

I could go on writing about the different works by Hirst but the best thing to do would possibly be a visit to Tate!

The exhibition still runs until 9th of September.

Tickets can be ordered here.

A little (more harmless) film of A Thousand Years can be seen here.

About Author


With an Austrian and German background, Anna has lived in London for almost 7 years now. started as a personal fashion & lifestyle diary in 2009 and was re-launched in 2015 with a new design.

Warning: require(/www/htdocs/w00ee578/wp-content/themes/travelista/comments.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /www/htdocs/w00ee578/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1471

Fatal error: require(): Failed opening required '/www/htdocs/w00ee578/wp-content/themes/travelista/comments.php' (include_path='.:/usr/share/php:..') in /www/htdocs/w00ee578/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 1471