Eminent provocateur Damien Hirst has done it again.
Scheduled for an exotic and unexpected opening in the humid jungle region of Chiapas, the artist's newest work provokes with such provocation, you might get overprovoked and die—but not before snapping it up at Sotheby's for 10 million pounds.
Called In Death I See Life and the Exigencies of Being, Damien's stuffed ostrich is ironically placed in a classical contrapposto, frozen in the twilight zone between nihilistic ambivalence and cheeky despair. Though in this case Hirst tabled lavish use of his trademark formaldehyde, he's instead found a new way to blow our collective mind—TV eyeballs.
Placed in the ostrich's orbits are craftily inserted mini screens showing Damien's personal best speedrun for the 1994 Super Nintendo release, Ninja Warriors. Clocking in just under a mind-blowing half hour, red-clad Kunoichi is preferred and used through much of the game—but for what is perhaps an edgy and surreal commentary on our social perceptions of human mortality, Hirst audaciously chooses heavy-hitter Ninja for a nettling and unexpected finish.
Though the artist is no stranger to brave tour de force projects, this one's perhaps the bravest and most tour de force-y: Slyly cynical with a boorish-but-brainy wink, Hirst is kinda into it but kinda not—knowing full well never to endanger his well-worn visage of the standoffish edgiteer.