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Artist Hirst opens religion show

Sep. 9, 2003 • Wednesday September 10, 2003

Controversial British artist Damien Hirst opens a show examining God and religion in London on Wednesday.

The show, Romance in the Age of Uncertainty at London’s White Cube Gallery, is reportedly based on the life of Jesus and his disciples.

The exhibition includes cow heads with metal instruments sticking out, and a glass cabinet full of bloody medical instruments.

It also includes Prodigal Son, Hirst’s famous 1994 piece of a cow cut in half.

“Hirst’s new religious works reveal the uncertainty at the heart of human experience and the attendant quest for meaning,” the exhibition brochure says.

The exhibition includes a scattering of skulls, crucifixes and rosaries. It is Hirst’s first in London for eight years.

‘Jesus’ dove

One installation describes the martyrdom of several saints through bloodstained glass cabinets.

Another piece, called Jesus and the Disciples, has 13 glass tanks, 12 of which contain a cow’s head in formaldehyde, with the last containing only liquid.

Another four works are butterflies glued to canvases, with titles such as Rapture and Devotion.

Above the rest of the exhibition, Hirst has enclosed a white dove in a glass cabinet, calling it The Ascension of Jesus.

“All of these are separate works, but they all work together here as one installation as well,” gallery owner Jay Jopling said on Monday.

Hirst has also prepared a series of expletive-filled poems on the subject of the death of the Saints, God and the life of Jesus, called The Cancer Chronicles.

The exhibition runs until 19 October, with some of the work previously having been shown in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana in June.

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