Group Exhibition. Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria.

18 February 2007 – 13 May 2007

Installation view 2nd Floor. Photographed by Markus Tretter © Kunsthaus Bregenz/ Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012. Reprinting with copyright notice only

The title of the exhibition, curated by Eckhard Schneider, derives from a free word association combining ‘ready-made’ and ‘object’. Hirst, Koons and Merz were each accorded a separate floor of the Kunsthaus Bregenz to facilitate an exhibition of individual artist’s statements. These comprehensive displays were pitched against a presentation of Duchamp’s work curated by Herbert Molderings. Molderings contextualised the ready-made as a “means of experimental space perception”, through exhibiting life-size photographic enlargements of Duchamp’s New York studios, together with the three ‘Boxes’ – fascimiles of handwritten notes published by the artist between 1934 and 1966.[1] 

Hirst chose to exhibit works dating from 1991 to 2006, including the newly renovated ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ (1991), an early ‘Medicine Cabinet’, ‘Nothing is a Problem for Me’ (1992), and a large stainless-steel instrument cabinet, ‘The Final Solution’ (2006). Each wall of Hirst’s exhibition space was hung with one of four of his largest spot paintings, measuring over 40 feet wide: ‘Iodomethane-13c’ (1999-2001); ‘Molybdenum Trioxide’ (2007); ‘L-Tyrosine-15N’ (2001); and Urea-13C (2001).                                                                              

Alongside a display of new works by Merz, ‘Re-Object’ included a survey of Jeff Koons’s career spanning 1986 to 2007. Of Koons’s series of ‘Inflatables’, Hirst has stated: “It’s like they are weightless or ephemeral. They’ve undergone that amazing transformation from almost throw away to becoming something immortal that we mortals all strive for and love.”[2] 

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition was produced, including texts by Eckhard Schneider, Herbert Molderings, John Gray, Gudrun Inboden and Sebastian Egenhofer (Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2009).

[1] Herbert Molderings, ‘Re-Object’ (Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2009), 147

[2] Damien Hirst, ‘The Death of God: Towards a Better Understanding of a Life Without God Aboard the Ship of Fools’ (Other Criteria/Galerie Hilario Galguera, 2006), 10