Tate saves visitors from poisoning by art
Wednesday 01 November 1995
The hazards of contemporary installation art rebounded on Britain's best known exponent yesterday when Damien Hirst's latest bizarre creation was withdrawn from the Tate Gallery on safety grounds.
Mother and Child Divided - four formaldehyde-filled tanks containing the severed halves of a cow and her calf - was to have to put on show to the public today, along with the other three shortlisted contenders for this year's Turner Prize. Its controversial nature is illustrated by the catalogue entry: "The tanks are placed so that the viewer can pass between the divided animals, closely examining the exposed entrails and flesh pressing against the glass. For some this is disturbing, even repulsive. For others, it generates a melancholic empathy."
With a view, perhaps, to the reaction of others unmentioned - animal rights activists, for instance - officials at the Tate are insisting that the installation is not put on public show until it has been fitted with strengthened glass and seals to protect visitors from the effects of exposure to the chemicals if it were to spring a sudden leak.
Although the exhibit has previously been shown in Venice, the Tate is taking no chances and will not put it on show until the work is done - probably by Monday.
It is not the first time Hirst's works have caused problems or attracted unwelcome or interventionist attention. Two years ago, his dead sheep exhibit - Away from the Flock - was doused in black ink while on show at another London gallery, and in New York a gallery decided to ban another piece depicting a rotting cow and bull.
The latter involved a hydraulic device being inserted into the two animals in a glass tank to simulate movement, and copulation, as they rotted away. The New York health department said it would pose a public health risk as it might explode, or even provoke vomiting, among spectators. Quoting Catch 22, officials decreed that if the tank was sealed it could shatter from the build up of gases, but if there was an outlet the odours would be overwhelming.
The row begins, Section Two
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...