Some Comfort Gained From the Acceptance of the Inherent Lies in Everything


Steel, glass, cows, and formaldehyde solution (12 tanks)

200 x 90 x 30 cm (78 3/4 x 35 7/16 x 11 13/16 in.) (each)

Two real cows were sawn into twelve vertical sections and kept in twelve tall showcases with a head at each end. The space between the display cases allows the viewer to see from all sides the precisely cut slices of the animal, including the entire animal, from the viscera to the skin. The whole is unusually long, and the eye gauges the carefully calculated intervals one by one to reconstruct the fragments into a whole. Seen from a distance, the succession of display cases, the uprights of which are painted on an immaculate white, are reminiscent of the shelves of a department store, at least until the viewer notices that the goods on display are not fashion accessories but a mixture of clowning and methods used by the virulent American animal rights associations, repugnant enough to make us vegetarians.

Extract from the exhibition catalog "Where Are We Going?", Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2006.

Damien Hirst's other artwork