The title for the exhibition was taken from an essay written by the participating artist Angus Fairhurst in 1989, entitled ‘Some went mad, some ran away, the great majority remained faithful unto physical death.’ The work of the 15 international artists selected was characterised by a multiplicity of materials and styles. Amongst the pieces included were Ashley Bickerton’s 12-foot-long rubber shark sculpture, ‘Solomon Shark Island’ (1993), Kiki Smith’s wax ‘Virgin Mary’ (1992), Sophie Calle’s sound installation ‘The Confessional’ (1983) and Hiroshi Sugimoto’s gelatine silver prints (1994). Hirst contributed a 'Pharmaceutical' spot painting, ‘Ammonium Biborate’ (1993), and he unveiled for the first time his formaldehyde-preserved lamb, ‘Away from the Flock’ (1994).
Hirst explained the collection was: “Just things I really like. I like watching people’s reactions when they look at the bike (Andreas Slominski’s ‘Untitled’ (1993-4)) and immediately say ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to avoid the guy whose bike this is. ’”
On the occasion of the exhibition, Andrea Schlieker stated that “provocative, curious, disquieting – as all the work in this exhibition may be – the desire to represent the world and the experience of living is a major concern that can be clearly discerned through the babel of different voices.”
The catalogue accompanying the exhibition included an essay by art critic Richard Shone (Serpentine Gallery, 1994).
The featured artists were Johannes Albers, Ashley Bickerton, Sophie Calle, Angus Fairhurst, Damien Hirst, Michael Joaquin Grey, Michael Joo, Abigail Lane, Robert Peacock, Alexis Rockman, Jane Simpson, Andreas Slominski, Kiki Smith and Hiroshi Sugimoto.
‘Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away’ travelled to: Nordic Arts Centre, Helsinki; Kunstverein, Hannover; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.