Damien Hirst Partners with Taxidermy House

Detail of Damien Hirst’s Signification (Hope, Immortality and Death in Paris, Now and Then) Photo via: Paddle8

Detail of Damien Hirst’s Signification (Hope, Immortality and Death in Paris, Now and Then)
Photo via: Paddle8

Damien Hirst has partnered with the French taxidermy specialists Deyrolle to create a wunderkammer vitrine, inspired by its historical archives, the Art Newspaper reports. The installation, entitled Signification (Hope, Immortality and Death in Paris, Now and Then), is currently being displayed in the Parisian maison.

Hirst’s take on the Victorian cabinet of curiosities features stuffed foxes, a white sea coral, and quite a generous selection of contemporary cleaning products. As Hirst explained to TAN, these “seem to say that we can achieve immortality through cleanliness, that we can somehow make the bad things in the world go away, which of course we can’t.”

Hirst—whose most notorious work is a shark suspended in a formaldehyde tank—has always had a strong penchant for the natural sciences, ever since he visited Leeds City Museum aged five.

Commissioned by the online auction house Paddle8, Signification (Hope, Immortality and Death in Paris, Now and Then) is the first in a series of artists’ collaborations with Deyrolle. Hirst’s piece will be up for sale between the 14th to the 28th of October, and the proceeds will be split between the artist’s personal charity and Deyrolle’s natural science education program.

This isn’t Deyrolle’s first foray into the art world. Founded in 1831, the Parisian house served as an unofficial extension of the 19th Century academies for live drawing, and it later inspired Salvador Dalí’s surrealist cookbook, Les Diners de Gala, published in 1973.


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