Portrait of the School as Mortuary

Donald Clark’s view of the Damien Hirst’s School: The Archaeology Of Lost Desires, Comprehending Infinity And The Search For Knowledge”, is summed up as:

I think he’s got this nailed. The loss of identity, uniformity, submergence and deadening of life the classroom. The sheer tedium of it all – an 11, soon to be 13, year minimum sentence. The religious imagery of the caged dove as the teacher caught in a pseudo-religious preaching role. The shark is the lurking bully and the ever-present air of frightening violence that is typical of the school experience. Like the students the teacher is merely a larger trapped, farmed animal. The classroom is the mortuary of lost desires. The search for knowledge only emerging after you recover from its leaden effect.

A rather damning indictment of our industrial school system from the perspective of a renowned artist. I think that this installation is great for encouraging conversation. A little digging and I came across Hirst’s statue of Virgin Mother; also disturbing and intriguing at the same time.


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