Damien Hirst’s Alcohol-Drenched Sausage in a Baby Bottle and Other Findings

by Art Fag City on November 4, 2009 · 10 comments Events

POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Damien Hirst, Innocence Lost, 2009, 200 x 50 mm, Glass, sausage and alcohol

Is Damien Hirst’s editioned, alcohol-drenched sausage in a baby bottle a joke? The fact that it’s available at Other Criteria, a publishing founded by Damien Hirst, Hugh Allan and Frank Dunphy in 2005 suggests that it’s not, but it’s also not the only hysterically weird piece on the site. Pair this with a few absurdly art speak-y product descriptions and half of yesterday was wasted chuckling over what I thought was an ingenious lark.

Based in Marylebone, London, the website’s About Page informs users on their various awards and mentions in essays by such superstars as Hans Ulrich Obrist, Gordon Burn, J.G. Ballard, and Jeremy Miller.  Maybe one these guys can explain the sausage in a baby bottle, Cindy Sherman’s boobalicious tea-set and tax disc holders by artists such as Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas, and Gary Hume. Our highlights with commentary after the jump. Hat tip: @nuarto9


Kehinde Whiley and Elizabeth Peyton, Bath Towel, 2007
1778 x 1524 mm
100% cotton
Limited edition, 25 available through Other Criteria

The number of artists who have made a limited edition towel available only through this site seems absurd. Is it possible that this site inspired the infamously dubbed Julian Schnabel towel “Schnowel”? Either way, I’m excited to self-reflectively lie on the beach, while the eyes of the towel engage my back.

From the website:

The gaze is the subject of these artist-designed beach towels, four individual designs of which are available through Other Criteria. Alluding to the self-reflexive and self-conscious nature of the beach towel on which we lie, each design uses either the artist's portrait or the eyes of one of their subjects as a way in which to make contact with the viewer, the beach-goer or the picnic-maker.

The oversized towels are 100% cotton and machine washable.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Sarah Lucas, Gavin Turk, Gary Hume

Michael Pretty Taxing tax disc - Artist’s Limited Edition

Printed on archival quality 100% cotton rag Somerset paper
Edition of 500

Is there anything on this so-called fake tax disc or is it just a blank CD?  If it’s the latter, we’re not talking about something all that interesting, but if it’s the former, I’m not sure what we’re talking about as no details are given. The write up suggests using the piece to brighten your windscreen, which I suspect is British slang for something other than a driver’s windshield. UPDATE: This is a disc-shaped certificate displayed on your car’s windshield that proves you paid your taxes. Thanks Greg!

The text below:

Pretty Taxing produces a range of exclusively commissioned tax disc holder designs from top artists and designers to brighten your windscreen. Each design is an edition of 500 and comes with a fake tax disc to be replaced by your own or added to a collection on your windscreen. Gavin Turk's 'Blue Heritage Plaque', while still a collectible artwork, is sold as an unlimited edition at the artist’s request.

The edition comprises of a certificate of authenticity and a circular artwork which are both hand numbered with their edition number. The specially designed packaging is also hand numbered on the outside and the circular artwork comes inserted into the Pretty Taxing plastic tax disc holder along with the fake tax disc.

Pretty Taxing will launch new editions of tax disc holders by leading artists and designers on a regular basis so that customers can build their own in-car art collection.

The certificate and circular artwork are printed onto the highest grade, archival quality 100% cotton rag Somerset art paper using light fast, high density inks to ensure a vibrant and lasting reproduction.

To view all Pretty Taxing tax discs in the Artist’s Collection, click here.


Cindy Sherman, Madame de Pompadour (née Poisson), 1990
Dimensions vary
21-piece porcelain Tea Service: 1 teapot, 1 sugar bowl, 1 creamer, 6 cups, 6 saucers, 6 dessert plates
Edition of 75 in each of four colour options

Who wants a Tea Set with Cindy Sherman’s boobs as Madame de Pompadour? The sets are offered in blue, pink, yellow, and green. To those looking to sink £4,000 into the plates, we recommend the Royal Blue. It’s simply more tasteful.

In commemoration of Madame de Pompadour (nee Poisson) — famous courtesan and mistress of King Louis XV of France — Cindy Sherman has cast herself in the role of Pompadour in this exquisite 21-piece tea set. Made from Limoges porcelain, after the original design commissioned by Pompadour in 1756, creative chameleon Sherman challenges the idea of identity and ownership, utilising a complex photo-silkscreen process to replace the courtesan's portrait with her own.

Signed and numbered by the artist, the tea set is available in a range of colours: apple green, rose, royal blue, and yellow. Each colour has been produced in a limited edition of 75.


Kiki Smith, Cat, 1999
82.6 x 82.6 x 95.3 mm
High-fired porcelain with glazed interior
Edition of 150

In the same way that every cat evokes anything from the Sphinx to Jelly molds, so does Kiki Smith’s mug. I rather like the way the ears support the body of this cup, but I’m not convinced I need it for my home. There’re not enough hieroglyphics on this kitty for me, I guess.

Departing from her lifetime's commitment to print, Kiki Smith has created an edition of 150 high-fired porcelain cat's head objects, 3 of which are for sale through Other Criteria.

Smith extends her fascination with the natural world and the relationships between animals and humans, anthropomorphizing her cat's head as both a design object and functional container. The cat's head, with glazed interior, stands upright and upside down, making for a curious and whimsical object and a drive to experiment beyond the two dimensions of print. Some of the qualities of print remain, however, in the raised linear surface of the creature's fur.

In many ways, this intriguing object — at once surreal, comical and absurd — recalls Smith's multiples of the 1970s and 80s, when she worked with Collaborative Projects, Inc. to create artist-made accessories. The network of fabricators with whom she collaborated in the past — glass blowers, metal-smiths and foundries — are all referenced here. Smith's love of puppetry is evidently an influence, and in combining elements of artisanal kitsch and playful practicality, she produces something unique and unusual. Relics of other cultures and readings surface; the cat appears mythological, sphynx-like, totemic, an artefact of anthropology, and yet at the same time, recalls the jelly moulds and kitsch figurines of Western windowsills and kitchen displays.


Damien Hirst, Innocence Lost, 2009, sausage in a baby bottle with alcohol, 2009
200 x 50 mm
Glass, sausage and alcohol

And last but not least, Damien Hirst’s latest masterpiece — pork sausage and alcohol in a baby bottle. I’m not really sure what to say about this work that isn’t already obvious, except perhaps that were I a collector, I would insist on signing papers ensuring the artist’s replacement of the pork sausage in the event of inevitable conservation problems.

Innocence Lost, a glass baby's bottle containing a pork sausage pickled in alcohol, makes foul, connotative paradoxes out of ideas of nourishment and nurture. Visually, the work is a reminder of Hirst's formaldehyde pieces as well as the surreal performances of pantomime and Punch & Judy shows. It is at once humorous and disturbing.

The glass bottle is engraved with the edition number, Hirst logo and signature.

  • greg.org

    while I wholeheartedly agree with the key points:
    – Damien Hirst WTF??
    – Artist tchotchkes WTF??

    the willfully incredulous tone of the post makes me wonder if you’ve been reading too many British tabloids lately.

    Bafflement at Hirst’s nonsense is a badge of honor, to be sure, but it’s undermined a bit by the apparent shunning of even the most basic Googling about some basic facts:

    Like a tax disc [an actual disc-shaped certificate which you must display on your car’s windshield to show that you’ve paid the road tax, which actually needs a holder of some kind to keep it in place], and the fact that Cindy Sherman’s Limoges china pieces are nearly twenty years old now, have nothing to do with Hirst beyond the retail distribution, and are only one example of a long, oddball tradition of artist-made tableware. [cf, Flavin, Lichtenstein, Turrell, Do Ho Suh, Robert Lazzarini, Vik Muniz, &c.]

    The towels, meanwhile, are either from Art Production Fund or are a direct ripoff of their idea. [see also, the Lisa Yuskavage shower curtain]

  • greg.org

    while I wholeheartedly agree with the key points:
    – Damien Hirst WTF??
    – Artist tchotchkes WTF??

    the willfully incredulous tone of the post makes me wonder if you’ve been reading too many British tabloids lately.

    Bafflement at Hirst’s nonsense is a badge of honor, to be sure, but it’s undermined a bit by the apparent shunning of even the most basic Googling about some basic facts:

    Like a tax disc [an actual disc-shaped certificate which you must display on your car’s windshield to show that you’ve paid the road tax, which actually needs a holder of some kind to keep it in place], and the fact that Cindy Sherman’s Limoges china pieces are nearly twenty years old now, have nothing to do with Hirst beyond the retail distribution, and are only one example of a long, oddball tradition of artist-made tableware. [cf, Flavin, Lichtenstein, Turrell, Do Ho Suh, Robert Lazzarini, Vik Muniz, &c.]

    The towels, meanwhile, are either from Art Production Fund or are a direct ripoff of their idea. [see also, the Lisa Yuskavage shower curtain]

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I might have held on to that post for tomorrow – I would have caught the tone.

    This should have been recast: “Maybe one these guys can explain sausage in a baby bottle, Cindy Sherman’s boobalicious tea-set and tax disc holders etc.” The sausage, sure, I would like to hear what Hans Ulrich Obrist has to say about that, the Sherman and the tax discs didn’t need to be on that list.

    I really don’t think we need to go back to the googling conversation though. I don’t need to Google Cindy Sherman to know there is a long tradition of artist-made table ware, and it’s okay if it wasn’t my first thought yesterday to Google that information. I liked the site and was enjoying it as such. It wasn’t the point of this post to give a detailed history of table ware — simply to highlight some of the more enjoyable items.

    As you point out, those desires aren’t all that visible due to a sentence or two that should have been adjusted in the introduction, but I think we can leave it as that. As for the windscreen, I did Google it, and was sent straight to the dictionary. Unfortunately I didn’t Google tax disc and windscreen in the same query, but as commentors are quick to point out on this blog, its editors occasionally make mistakes.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

    I might have held on to that post for tomorrow – I would have caught the tone.

    This should have been recast: “Maybe one these guys can explain sausage in a baby bottle, Cindy Sherman’s boobalicious tea-set and tax disc holders etc.” The sausage, sure, I would like to hear what Hans Ulrich Obrist has to say about that, the Sherman and the tax discs didn’t need to be on that list.

    I really don’t think we need to go back to the googling conversation though. I don’t need to Google Cindy Sherman to know there is a long tradition of artist-made table ware, and it’s okay if it wasn’t my first thought yesterday to Google that information. I liked the site and was enjoying it as such. It wasn’t the point of this post to give a detailed history of table ware — simply to highlight some of the more enjoyable items.

    As you point out, those desires aren’t all that visible due to a sentence or two that should have been adjusted in the introduction, but I think we can leave it as that. As for the windscreen, I did Google it, and was sent straight to the dictionary. Unfortunately I didn’t Google tax disc and windscreen in the same query, but as commentors are quick to point out on this blog, its editors occasionally make mistakes.

  • greg.org

    sorry to sound like such a bitch. I might have held on to that comment until today, too.

    And your point still stands: Damien Hirst’s store: WTF??

  • greg.org

    sorry to sound like such a bitch. I might have held on to that comment until today, too.

    And your point still stands: Damien Hirst’s store: WTF??

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    This is a lighthearted post and didn’t deserve the level of commenter scrutiny it got (subsequent apology noted). The point to me isn’t bafflement with Hirst but the overdetermined prose lavished on empty collectibles. I figured out what a tax disc is, thanks, and it doesn’t matter how long ago Sherman made her Limoges piece, it’s still on the Hirst site and still bad. Paddy, I will say again, you are longsuffering in what you have to take from commenters and I would have turned mine off sooner if I had to endure the picky hectoring you get here.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    This is a lighthearted post and didn’t deserve the level of commenter scrutiny it got (subsequent apology noted). The point to me isn’t bafflement with Hirst but the overdetermined prose lavished on empty collectibles. I figured out what a tax disc is, thanks, and it doesn’t matter how long ago Sherman made her Limoges piece, it’s still on the Hirst site and still bad. Paddy, I will say again, you are longsuffering in what you have to take from commenters and I would have turned mine off sooner if I had to endure the picky hectoring you get here.

  • http://www.americanrecordablemedia.com/ Buy Blank CD

    Sausage in a bottle is quite unusual.

  • http://www.riderwear.net/38-security Tax Disc Holder

    It seems that they did so that child try eat which is inside the bottle and with this way they can leave to use feeders.

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