Popular british artist Damien Hirst’s Vienna Biennale exhibition “Treasures From the Wreck of the Unbelievable” reimagines artworks as debris from a fictional shipwreck discovered off the coast of East Africa in 2008.
Ori Olokun, a 14th century bronzehead from Ife was said to have been appropriated as one of Hirst’s original pieces and tagged ‘Golden Heads (Female)’
Victor Ehikhamenor, veteran artist and also a participant at Venice Biennale called out the artist’s lack of attribution
View some of his comments below;
This postcard of “Golden heads (Female)” by Damien Hirst with no reference to Ife and great artists that originally made these timeless classic will travel far and wide. Once again the hunter has glorified his tale in the absence of the lion. #abiographyoftheforgotten #madeinnigeria #lestweforget #ifehead #ifenigeria #myforefathersdidit
The British are back for more from 1897 to 2017. The Oni of Ife must hear this. “Golden heads (Female)” by Damien Hirst currently part of his Venice show “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” at Palazzo Grassi. For the thousands of viewers seeing this for the first time, they won’t think Ife, they won’t think Nigeria. Their young ones will grow up to know this work as Damien Hirst’s. As time passes it will pass for a Damien Hirst regardless of his small print caption. The narrative will shift and the young Ife or Nigerian contemporary artist will someday be told by a long nose critic “Your work reminds me of Damien Hirst’s Golden Head”. We need more biographers for our forgotten. #ifesculptures #classicnigerianart #workbynigerianartist #ifenigeria #lestweforget #nigeria #abiographyoftheforgotten
A post shared by Victor Ehikhamenor (@victorsozaboy) on May 8, 2017 at 1:40am PDT
Damien Hirst. I have read many reviews of “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” and yet to see the words “primitive” or “ethnographic”. These are two of the frequently used words to describe classic art from Africa. Una welldone. #knowthyself #madeinnigeria #abiographyoftheforgotten #venice
“Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” is on display now at Italy’s Palazzo Grassi in Venice and will remain on view until December.