Steel, glass and lamb in a formaldehyde solution
AWAY FROM THE FLOCK
Collection of the artist
On display from 2005 to 2007
Hirst, a leading exponent of the Young British Artists movement which emerged at the Freeze exhibition of 1988, shares with the other artists of this movement a continual and often violent contamination of the artistic process by everyday reality, of which he expresses – with theatrical effect often tinged by black humour – the degradation, the desolation and the taste for the horrid and for the banal.
Away from the Flock is the crude presentation of a white lamb preserved in formaldehyde, placed in a minimalist-style glass case. The artist in this way breaks away aesthetically from reality in order to make reality the protagonist. There is an immediate religious reference
(iconographically, Christ is often shown as a lamb), but what is not to be expected is the tragic sentiment which pervades the work. Hirst focusses his research
on a theme – death – which has been dealt with since the very beginning of the history of art, carrying out an iconographical renewal which makes a strong impact on the viewer, who experiences an innate reaction of immediate repulsion which inevitably results in rampant voyeurism and in the need for collective catharsis. Man seems to be absent, far off, but in reality he is the protagonist and the sole true subject of the work, attracted by the process of death which takes place in order to produce the aesthetic object.
In a way I quite like that, bringing it right back round again. [...] In a way, they are clichés. But clichés are only clichés because they’re ...
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