All for One and One for All, 2002

overview

Data

All for One and One for All
2002
Dimensions variable
Glass, compressors, rubber tubing, spray-guns, clamps and ping-pong balls
Image: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

Context

“I’m having a relationship with everyone I’ve ever thought about or communicated with, and every object I’ve ever seen. I feel that life can be a composition; things relate to other things.”[1]

‘All for One and One for All' is the third work Hirst made in a collection of ‘Mental Escapology’ works which began with, ‘I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now’ (1991). In this first piece, a ping-pong ball is maintained precariously aloft by a jet of air emanating from a paint spray gun; the gun is anchored by a wooden clamp against the sharp edge of a long pane of glass. In a second work, made in 1992 and titled, ‘Alone Yet Together and in Love’, the glass pane instead has attached a pair of hoses supporting two ping-pong balls. This third work in the series, incorporates four hoses constructed around glass panes set up to form a square.

The works in the ‘Mental Escapology’ series are amongst Hirst’s most autobiographical: the floating spheres can be seen either as self-portraits, as representations of the artist’s career or as “just portraits of individuals”.[2] Hirst included ‘I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now’ as a focal piece in ‘Internal Affairs’, his 1991 exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. His first show in a public gallery, ‘Internal Affairs’ contained the artist’s most personal work to date. He explains: “I think in ‘Internal Affairs’ it’s clumsy because that whole idea of the self being objective and looking into self is clumsy. The tools that you really need or the keys aren’t there, but you can sometimes take a screw out with a knife.”[3]



[1] Damien Hirst cited in Damien Hirst, ‘I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now’ (Booth-Clibborn Editions; Reduced edition, 2005), 120

[2] Damien Hirst cited in ‘Like People, Like Flies: Damien Hirst Interviewed’, Mirta D’Argenzio, ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy: Selected Works from 1989–2004’ (Electa Napoli, 2004), 161

[3] Damien Hirst cited in ‘Damien Hirst & Sophie Calle’, 'Internal Affairs' (Jay Jopling/ICA, 1991), unpag.