|Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable by Damien Hirst - Photo: Cat Bauer|
The wonderful thing about books is that each reader uses their own imagination to interpret the story and the characters with the words the author provides. There is a magical transformation that happens in the mind of a human being that can turn the novelist's words into vivid images, allowing us to enter into another world that sometimes feels as real as the one in which we actually live. Reading a book is different from watching a movie or a play. When we read, the story is not outside, but inside one's mind.
Will viewers step into a fictional world populated with physical objects that an artist has created?
Damien Hirst has invented a story that goes something like this: In 2008, a wreck was discovered off the coast of East Africa, full of precious works of art. It was the ancient ship called the Apistos, or the "Unbelievable," of the great collector, Amotan, who had once been a slave from Antioch, and lived around the year 200 AD. The Unbelievable was on its way to a temple built by Amotan, now a freed slave "bloated with excess wealth" to house his fabled treasures, when it sank. The immense wealth of the great collector was submerged in the Indian Ocean for about 2,000 years, heavily encrusted in corals and other marine life.
|Proteus with Three Divers by Damien Hirst - Photo: Cat Bauer|
|Proteus by Damien Hirst - Photo: Cat Bauer|
As John Lennon famously said, "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together becomes reality."
|The Collector with a Friend by Damien Hirst - Photo: Cat Bauer|
"Do you think that the objects are real, or do you think that the artist created them?" I asked.
He laughed. "I don't care!"
If you'd like to know more, Katherine Tyrrell at Making a Mark "a top art blog for artists and art lovers" has compiled an excellent round-up of the exhibition with links to reviews, including this one.
Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable. Damien Hirst, curated by Elena Geuna at Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi runs from April 9 to December 3, 2017.
Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog