Schizophrenogenesis is an exhibition of new work from Damien Hirst, currently on display at Paul Stolper Gallery. The art combines a variety of new prints and sculptures reflecting the simple aesthetic of the medicinal pill. The new collection is described as a furtherance of Hirst’s continual study into the, somewhat spiritual, relationship of consistencies between science and the pharmaceutical industry.
A beacon of colourful neon letters reading Schizophrenogenesis entices and yet warns the audience at the entrance to the gallery space. They encounter The Cure, which consists of 30 silkscreen prints with images of two-tone coloured pills mounted on an intensely vibrant background. Complimenting the space of images, there is an array of 14 enlarged resin pills, measuring 30 centimetres in length, with 10 smaller pills dispersed throughout. Hirst explains his vision: “Pills are a brilliant little form, better than any minimalist art. They’re all designed to make you buy them…they come out of flowers, plants, things from the ground, and they make you feel good, you know, you just have a pill, to feel beauty.”
Progressing further through the exhibition, Hirst plays with the concept of scale and perception in an Alice in Wonderland-esque playground. Oversized versions of syringes, ampoules, pharmaceutical boxes, a scalpel and drug packaging reach up to the spectators at nearly one and a half metres tall. This clinical visual exploration into the mind of Hirst reveals an ornate analysis of his concept, looking into the aesthetic values of the pharmaceutical industry and the contemporary belief systems of religion, love, art and medicine. As Hirst himself notes: “Art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else… there isn’t anything else.”
Damien Hirst: Schizophrenogenesis, until 15 November, Paul Stolper Gallery, London.
1.Damien Hirst – Schizophrenogenesis, courtesy of Paul Stolper Gallery.