Damien Hirst’s ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ At the Venice Biennale

It’s the year of marine art. At the Venice Biennale crowds are flocking to Damien Hirst’s ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’, a tableau of barnacle incrusted artefacts lost at sea. Hirst’s installation, not part of the official Biennale programme, appears suspiciously similar to the Grenada pavilion ‘The Bridge’ created by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor which features encrusted statues ‘caked in sea life’. Taylor founded the world’s first underwater sculpture park off the Caribbean island’s west coast in 2006 and it is now an established part of the tourist trail. At least the controversy, highlighted by Artnet, may help spread Taylor’s message about the fragility of the marine environment and coral bleaching caused by global warming. Venice is certainly at the forefront of this debate. As for the Biennale, best mug up in advance or you may find yourself drowning in what critic Matthew Collings has called, ‘discombobulated bric-a-brac with exotic meanings’.

Until November 26th at venues across Venice, Italy

Damien Hirst, The Warrior and the Bear
Photo- Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

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