We’ve stared death in the hollow icy eye for hours now, and this art association is about just that: three killing machines, tamed by artists and put in a gallery for us to come closer and wonder: what if, what if, what if I died, like, right now?
Top left: Damien Hirst, “Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of a Living Person”, from Artinfo
Bottom left: Dirk Skreber, “Crash”, from FunPortion
Right: Fiona Banner, “Harrier”, from DailyMail
Us humans, we’re fragile. Here today, gone tomorrow. But art is there forever. Its beauty is, and the emotions we feel forever permeate the depths of the universe, the reell of space warped around time. What we find so special about this trio is that people do die like this, and yet we think it could never happen to us. The artworks therefore allow us to access a world that doesn’t exist, a world in which we’re the victims, and about to meet a very banal and violent death.
Be it with the twisted angles of Skreber’s car wreck at the Saatchi Gallery, in front of Hirst’s shark at Tate Modern or underneath the Sword of Damokles-esque Sea Harrier that’s found its eternal resting place at Tate Britain. We are trapped by the sheer near-ness of the what-if, and our own perish-ableness. That could have been me had never been more true.
We don’t much like Hirst, on account of his thirst for money and lame fame. We don’t like the military either, nor cars, cause they wreck this planet. But the emotions, oh the sweet emotions, the beads of fear running down our spine. We love that.
That’s what modern art is about. Sheer unbridle raw emotions. Shout it out. We’re finally free to let them run out. We can be plain, open, honest about these things. We don’t need to hide between signs and symbols and more. We need shrill thrills to feel we’re alive in the numb dumb age. The shrill thrill of the killing machine, unleashed on us. How modern. How amazing.