The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 2014, 115,8 x 88,5 x 52,8 cm, 8 mm tempered glass, wood, replica of Oleoylsarcosine (Damien Hirst, 2008, etching), polyvinyl, acrylic string, courtesy of the artist, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living is a project that I started in 2014 as a reply to Damien Hirst’s retrospective in Tate Modern and his general activity within the international art world. The project itself was conceived as a provocation of the artist via letters and e-mail. The goal was to attract the artist’s attention and eventually a collaboration with Damien Hirst himself.

I started the project with sending off invitations of collaboration to Damien Hirst in person. Because the artist does not share his private address with the public (even after a thorough investigation I was unable to obtain it via the public web), I sent the invitations as attachments of requests to his closest partners, gallerists and intermediaries, addressing them to mediate the invitations to him.

I wrote the invitations by hand and used a totally informal language, as I wished to level the differences in status between me and the artist beforehand. I continuously sent out letters and e-mail throughout the year 2014 in monthly intervals.

Because the collaboration never took place, I constructed the piece myself. I built the work on the basis of the stealing of two of Hirst’s paintings (Pyronin Y in Oleoylsarcosine) from the Notting Hill Gallery. I reproduced the work Oleoylsarcosine, framed it and suspended it horizontally in a glass cubicle. I filled the container with a 5% paraldehyde water solution, fly larva and a substrate for them to live. After completion I sealed the work hermetically.
The piece is a combination of several Hirst’s successful series, that he made: “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”, his “Dot Painting’s” series and “A Thousand Years”. With this combination I wanted to make a saturated object, a statement of the conglomerate, that is Damien Hirst, that would also speak only his language.

Each of his works works as a whole in it’s own context successfully, but when confronted with a dialog with his other works, each individual segment loses its power. A satirical turn occurs, and with it, the who has committed his whole work towards the contemplation of transience and mortality, inevitably succumbs to the exact same question. Hirst’s Oleoylsarcosine loses all its vitality, slowly succumbing to rot, mildew, vermin and its own material transience.

After the finished project I have sent to the address of his intermediary a postcard with the inscription “Your painting has found new purpose. Greetings from Slovenia.” The original Oleoylsarcosine still has not been found.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, side view.

Letter to Hirst, 2014, 40 x 30 x 4,5 cm, ink on paper, wooden frame, glass, courtesy of the artist, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Certificate of letter hand-in, 2014, 25 x 25 x 4,5 cm, hand-in certificate, wooden frame, glass, courtesy of the artist, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

E-Mail to Hirst, 2014, 30 x 40 x 4,5 cm, digital print, wooden frame, glass, courtesy of the artist, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Greetings from Slovenia Damien, 2014, 20 x 35 x 4,5 cm, digital print, black marker, frame, glass, courtesy of the artist, Ljubljana, Slovenia.