I was on the OOC channel of a Mu* the other day, when somebody posted a link to Demian Hirst's new piece with the comment; "Y'know, some people have just got too much money."
As you can see, the link doesn't have a very good photograph of the work in question - but anyway, this sparked off a discussion on the OOC channel about the point of the piece. I won't lie, it was mostly me going on about how it could be considered a demonstration on the value we impose on objects during our lifetime which then become obsolete when we die, and that Hirst has a history of using images of death in a way that transforms them into images of wonder, etc, etc.
But I missed a whole other point about the origin of diamonds, the people who suffer get them, etc - and I saw on boingboing the link to the NY Times article, where Hirst says:
“That’s when you stop laughing,” Hirst says. “You might have created something that people might die because of. I guess I felt like Oppenheimer or something. What have I done? Because it’s going to need high security all its life.”
And it struck me... That diamond encrusted skull is going to have more protection and attention then countless children - for decades, and decades, and decades - until it is destroyed in some way. The diamond skull is, in short, immortal - while being an icon of death and luxury.
I won't lie; when I saw the photograph for the first time, straight on, I was actually shocked at its beauty. Totally shocked. Because fuck, it is a beautiful object, no doubt. But I'm not too sure how I feel about it's resonance.