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19.01.2021 to 23.02.2021
Damien Hirst’s 12-foot-high sculpture The Monk can now be seen on the frozen lake of St. Moritz. This monumental work was last seen in his 2017 exhibition Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable in Venice. The Monk is part of Hirst’s ‘Treasures’. This work is a testament to the opulence of the ancient world, The Monk is entirely encrusted with coral and shells, with all vestiges of the underwater world left intact. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, truth and lies, the work shows us the enduring power of myth and storytelling in the twenty-first century. The installation of The Monk represents the first time an artwork has been exhibited on the lake itself.
This installation precedes Hirst’s forthcoming exhibition, Mental Escapology, that will open in late January 2021. Organised with the assistance of the city of St. Moritz, the exhibition will be presented in multiple venues including two historical buildings: the neo-classical Forum Paracelsus in St. Moritz Bad, and the Protestant Church in the centre of St. Moritz.
The exhibition will feature works from some of Hirst’s most well-known series, including more Treasures, Natural History, Spot Paintings, Butterfly Colour Paintings and Mental Escapology, after which the exhibition is named. The exhibition, spread across indoor and outdoor sites, will engage with both the region’s spectacular landscape and some of the city’s most important spaces in which to show art, creating a dialogue between nature, the manmade, the contemporary and the historic. Mental Escapology will be Hirst’s first public exhibition in Switzerland.
The exhibition has been curated by Jason Beard, and produced by Oscar Humphries and Marco Voena. We are grateful to the city of St. Moritz for their assistance in staging this project.