Damien Hirst: Cathedrals Built on Sand
This book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Damien Hirst: Cathedrals Built on Sand at Gagosian, rue de Ponthieu, Paris. It documents the artist’s sculptural series Pill Cabinets, for which he filled wall-mounted cabinets with arrangements of tablets—some real, some fabricated from metal, resin, or plaster. Intermingling art and science in Hirst’s familiar style, Pill Cabinets confronts society’s faith in drugs as a panacea and unites the artist’s interest in post-Minimalist form with a Pop art–inspired commentary on commercial goods.
The book reproduces over twenty sculptures, including all the works in the exhibition, each with details and installation photography, and features illustrated essays by Iwona Blazwick and Jeffrey Weiss. Blazwick’s text traces the origins and intentions of Hirst’s use of cabinets and vitrines in this and other of his series, while Weiss’s essay focuses on the pill in the context of artist’s use of simple repeated forms. “A Pill Cabinet is a fetishizing hall of mirrors,” he writes, “a chamber of illusionary values that both represents objects of desire and is one.”