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Newsnight Review - 1 June, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 1 Jun 07, 07:33 PM

hirst2_203.gifIn a special extended interview, Kirsty Wark talks to Britain's most successful artist, Damien Hirst, about his passions and the most expensive artwork ever made.

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Gibbon wrote that freakishness in the arts masquerading as originality, and enthusiasm pretending to be creativity, heralded the fall of Rome. It would appear Damien Hirst is the herald for our ignominious end.

  • 2.
  • At 12:13 AM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • matthew howells wrote:

OK so perhaps we shouldn't get too upset that Hirst can afford to spu*k up millions on his art, afterall its up to him what he spends his cash on.However what i find particularly ridiculous is that he hopes that his diamond skull will offer "hope" to people. WHat on enough is on about? How is this obkect suposed to transend its material value and inspire viewers to "confront death". I'm not denying that this is one function of art, or that this is a possible function of this particular piece of art. But I fear that the shear extravagence of this artwork is just another example of anacronistic british art trying desparately to indelicately gouge out a place for itself in history by repeating the efforts and ideas of previosu artists and claiming them for their own. In fact I feel this way about much of Hirst's work. He has never risen above the spectacualr or the vacuously abstract and his admission on Newsnight that he is happy to operate a Wharhoesque art actory is, rather than post modern noblese oblige, a damning indictment on the lack of originality and inwardness of the celebrity artist. I thought it was hilarious that Kirsty outed him as a proprty investor and a member of the landed gentry. I thought it was even more hilarious that he claimed that the best advice he ever received was from an abstract expressionist who encouraged hin to "throw paint around". Whislt Hirst seems to have clung to the imperative of the abstract impressionists to leave their work free of controversy (depsite what others might make of it) he certainly has avoided the temptation to let it sprak for itself.

  • 3.
  • At 12:35 AM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • David Bateman wrote:

The Kirsty Wark-Damien Hirst interview leaves this viewer feeling dejected, wretched and enervated. Such fumbling banalities can represent nothing more than a state of vacuousness and ignominy upon our Art Establishment's values -underlined only too horribly by those of the Turner Prize Board's judgements, (not to mention the Arts Council's all-of-a-piece parsimony in dis-honouring Elgar this year).
Wark should take credit for exposing Hirst's inadequacies in such a convincingly skilled and sympathetic interview. But to me it means we're irrevocably and terminally sick, sick, sick... A profound curse on those awful "luvvies". God help us!

  • 4.
  • At 07:55 AM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • susie wrote:

It's a pity that the normally forthright Kirsty adopts a near-sycophantic demeanor when doing one-on-one interviews with big names in the culture world. This interview came over an an uncritical plug of Hirst's work, with a sort of over-excited golly gosh tone to it on the part of the interviewer. The BBC was recently criticised by a BBC Trust panel over some of its business coverage - for losing its impartiality and for dumbing down. Given the vast sums of money involved in the Hirst enterprise, this programme risked falling into the category of a "plugging" type business story. Wouldn't it have been better to have had a shorter interview and to have supplemented it with a studio discussion involving eg critics, gallery owners, art buyers, to give their views on Hirst's latest work? Surely just a little bit of scepticism is in order.

  • 5.
  • At 08:59 AM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • David Bateman wrote:

To Blog monitor; Please take out No 3 of these listed comments and the PS of the almost exactly repeated No4 which is self explanatory. Sorry to be a nuisance.

  • 6.
  • At 09:17 AM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • Ms Clapham 2007 wrote:

Susie I agree and well observed
I still have the haunting images of Kirsty and the Madonna interview, she is clearly just not up to the celebrity interview.
She does not have the skills to engage the viewer.

A shocking waste of money that quite honestly the BBC does not have to waste.

Damien Hirst's 'For The Love Of God'. Ultimate symbol of consumerist death worship..
Or is it just another morbid goth rip off of the Aztecs and Picasso's Death's Head of 1942/3?

Strange boy....

I saw the exact same skull in Aldi's -

Only £10 million.

  • 9.
  • At 06:41 PM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is!

i am working on a new piece called Hung Drawn and Quatered. A lifesize installation using real bodies. Despite the smell i think it will be a huge success.

  • 10.
  • At 08:03 PM on 02 Jun 2007,
  • M.Lin wrote:

I found this interview skillful. Unless I am entirely misguided by the limitations of my own listening abilities, this is not the end of the story. It seems the skull may yet 'speak for itself'.

  • 11.
  • At 08:35 AM on 03 Jun 2007,
  • Ms Clapham 2007 wrote:

Hundreds of jobs face the axe as the corporation's director-general demands £4.5m in savings to cover the licence fee shortfall
BBC news is preparing to axe hundreds of jobs as part of the plans by director-general Mark Thompson to cut the corporation's budget.
Flagship shows including The 10 O'Clock News and Newsnight could be affected, according to insiders.
Senior executives are currently deciding which jobs will go, but one source said: 'Many hundreds of jobs are under threat in news and there are serious questions over whether the quality of programmes like Newsnight and The 10 O'Clock News can be maintained.'
Well if they are wasting money on "Cannes" and interviews like this and Madonna then and high earning presenters indulging in their own whims,then quite right too.

  • 12.
  • At 12:48 PM on 04 Jun 2007,
  • David Bateman wrote:

Dear Bog Minder,
Could you please WAKE-UP and remove comment No 5 which was a Ps of No 4.

  • 13.
  • At 12:57 PM on 04 Jun 2007,
  • David Bateman wrote:

I've just asked you to take out number 5, yet the request is now of No 3 ??? Please don't do that, as I'm rather proud of that one.

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