A Thousand Years (1990) by Damien Hirst

A Thousand Years - Damien Hirst - 1990

Artwork Information

TitleA Thousand Years
ArtistDamien Hirst
MediumSteel, glass, flies, maggots, MDF, insect-o-cutor, cow's head, sugar, water
Dimensions213 x 427 x 213 cm
Art MovementConceptual Art
Current LocationCharles Saatchi

About A Thousand Years

“A Thousand Years” is an artwork conceived by Damien Hirst in 1990, employing a diverse array of materials including steel, glass, flies, maggots, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), an insect-o-cutor, a cow’s head, sugar, and water. This conceptual art piece measures 213 cm in height, 427 cm in width, and 213 cm in depth. It is classified as an installation, representing the thematic complexities often found in Hirst’s works. The artwork belongs to the collection of Charles Saatchi.

The artwork presents an enclosed glass and steel structure that spans over four meters in width. The life cycle of flies is a central element of the installation, where maggots can metamorphose into flies within the confines of the transparent chamber. The flies are provided with a cow’s head as sustenance and an insect-o-cutor, serving both as a source of life and as a means of death within the artificial ecosystem. The piece deliberately engages with themes of life, death, and the inherent reality of decay. The work’s use of provocative materials and its embodiment of existential concepts are characteristic of Hirst’s oeuvre, making it a significant and controversial piece within the canon of contemporary art.

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