Closing weekend for major olympic summer Exhibitions: Damien Hirst at Tate Modern + Yoko Ono at Serpentine Gallery
London’s major arts Museums and Institutions have chosen some of the British greatest art icons to celebrate this glorious 2012 Olympic summer: the Tate Modern has shown a five month-long retrospective of Damien Hirst‘s work, the V&A presented the best of British talent in British Design: 1948 2012, as well as in the current show Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950, while the Serpentine Gallery has hosted the show “Yoko Ono:TO THE LIGHT” – well, she’s not actually British, though her worshipped husband quintessentially has been.
Those of you who have missed out the King Midas of contemporary art’s major show at the Tate Modern and are lucky enough to be in London on this perfect late summer weekend, can head for the gallery and catch up on it, as the exhibition is closing tomorrow.
At the end of a demanding tour through medical cabinets, formaldehyde preserved sharks, ashtrays, dissected cows and calves, vitrines filled with endless rows of pills – or diamonds – and crusts of dead flies, you’ll probably have – or at least would deserve to – the answer to the fascinating dilemma: is Damien Hirst THE art genius of our times or else has he been making a fool of us all for some 20 years? Possibly the answer is a combination of both factors…Or else are Damien Hirst’s creations just smart manifestations of post-pop oxymoron? Clean dirtiness, deathly life, smoky breath, horrendous beauty, multi-extrapolation single concept, sick healthy….
Batch production vs. creative process, business vs. art, market vs. imagination. Hirst’s later work might be seen as a critique of the tackiness of some collectors, or even as a mockery of the contemporary art market that supports him and has put him in a golden cage.
Yoko Ono’s exhibition TO THE LIGHT covers more than 40 years of her creative production, from her 1960s performances and installations conceived in the iconic New York loft to the recent revisitations of her early creations. The shadow/presence of John Lennon gives the show an allure of charm and yearning that I couldn’t personally resist (however this is just a very subjective reaction) – notably the film #smilesfilm, where Ono has revisited her 1968 film Smile, which focused on the face of Lennon. People across the world can now upload their smiles to a website, while gallery visitors can also have theirs digitally recorded.
Yoko Ono TO THE LIGHT @Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens London W2 3XA
Damien Hirst @Tate Modern,
London SE1 9TG
Until 9 September 2012
Note of the blog’s author: the original materials of this post are part of the application process relating to the Team Florens competition; the subject of this post is included in the range of topics that will be dealt with at the forthcoming Florens 2012 meeting.