The original exhibition presented objects of marble, bronze, gold and jade and included huge statues, some ‘reconstructed’ while others appeared fresh from the seabed and encrusted in coral. Not everyone was privy to the exact nature of the works at first, such was the thoroughness of Hirst’s reconstructed past, which came complete with ancient currencies and documentary footage of the underwater ‘excavations'. And, at a cursory glance, the whole thing might seem like a real, if unlikely, discovery.
Hirst, in fact, went to extraordinary lengths to produce a fake world for our era of fake news, questioning our relationship with history and parodying the art market today. There are plenty of references to pop culture and renaissance masterpieces, if you look closely enough, all brilliantly mixed up in the form of heroic statues and pots. It is, of course, impossible to fit two museums' worth of works into the lobby of Claridges, but a selection has found a temporary – and appropriate home – here until 8 November.
|What||Damien Hirst, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, Claridges|
|Where||Claridges, 49 Brook Street, London, W1K 4HR | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bond Street (underground)|
27 Sep 19 – 08 Nov 19, 12:00 AM