Damien Hirst: New Religion
28 March – 5 July 2015
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In a series of silkscreen prints and sculptures the artist questions whether science might be the new religion.
Discussing this body of work – first exhibited in 2005 but rarely shown in Britain since – Hirst said: ‘'I was thinking that there are four important things in life: religion, love, art and science… Of them all, science seems to be the one right now. Like religion, it provides the glimmer of hope that maybe it will be all right in the end'.
From formaldehyde-preserved animals to diamante-encrusted skulls, death has been a central theme of the artist's work. This series is no different; he is interested in how science – particularly medicine – has become important in human rationalisation of mortality, and how these concepts interplay with religious beliefs in contemporary society.
Among the exhibits are a wooden cross studded with gem-like pills, a silver cast of a heart wrapped in barbed wire and pierced by needles and razor blades and The Holy Trinity – a pie-chart dissecting the concept of spiritual belief.
Verses from the Bible have been reformulated as a doctor's chart, with prophecies depicted through prints of drugs and 'miraculous' medicines that are supposed to cure us.