LIVE AND LET DIE: Remember Damien Hirst’s shark floating in formaldehyde? Art’s enfant terrible is taking another stab at taxidermy, this time at Paris’s Deyrolle, a mecca for collectors of stuffed animals, fossils and other specimens since 1831.
A new piece called “Signification (Hope, Immortality and Death in Paris, Now and Then)” is conceived like a contemporary Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosities, comprising a cornucopia of taxidermy, entomology and skeletons, chosen by Hirst from Deyrolle’s august stock.
“People have been making curiosity cabinets for almost 500 years, and it’s something that’s always fascinated me: they inhabit a space between life and death that says so much about who we are as humans, and who we might want to be. Being able to use Deyrolle’s incredible collection to create my own contemporary Wunderkammer is just amazing,” the artist enthused.
The chef d’oeuvre will be on display at Deyrolle from today through Oct. 28, before going under the hammer at online auction house Paddle8 between Oct. 14 and 28.
The proceeds will benefit Hirst’s charity Victim, which guards indigenous communities around the world, among other causes, as well as Deyrolle’s program of natural science education and conservation.