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Allegories of a shipwreck. Truth, falsehood and fiction in Damien Hirst’s recent works.

10 luglio 2019
San Francesco Complex - Classroom 2

Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable was a huge exhibition held in 2017 by internationally acclaimed British artist Damien Hirst. As we read in the official press release, the exhibition «tells the story of the ancient wreck of a vast ship, the ‘Unbelievable’ and presents what was discovered of its precious cargo; the impressive collection of Aulus Calidius Amotan – a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II». The exhibition presented 189 objects recovered from this vessel, discovered by archaeologists in 2008. Hirst claimed to have financed the recovery, the transport and the restoration of the found works. A spectacular Netflix documentary seems to confirm all this. What do we mean by «truth», in this entanglement demonstrated by such spectacular artworks, impeccable set up and, ultimately refined storytelling?

Alessandro del Puppo - University of Udine