Damien Hirst / Michael Joo

Have You Ever Really Looked at the Sun?

Have You Ever Really Looked at the Sun? is a unique collaboration between British artist Damien Hirst and American artist Michael Joo, who met in Cologne in 1991 and have remained close friends since that time.

Engaged in a continuous, twenty-year dialogue about their individual artistic practices, this marks the first time Hirst and Joo have worked together to realise a full-scale joint exhibition.

Have You Ever Really Looked at the Sun? features new, especially conceived sculptures and installations, as well as seminal paintings and sculptures from both artists.

Since gaining international attention after showing in the exhibition Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 1995, Joo has employed a highly personal language in the creation of his art to express ideas about identity, nature and the body.

In key works like Improved Rack (Elk #18) (2010), a wall-mounted sculpture of elk antlers Joo plays on the traditional presentation of the hunter’s trophy by cutting the antlers into segments and extending them with metal rods.

Other major works are a painted pink, bronze life-size sculpture of a zebra, Doppelganger (Pink Rocinante) (2009) and a new group of colourful paintings of quartz crystals on shaped aluminium panels.

In dialogue with Joo’s works, Hirst brings together signature sculptures and paintings for which he has become known. Included in the exhibition are The Incredible Journey (2008), a zebra suspended in formaldehyde in a white painted steel tank and The Black Sheep with Golden Horns (divided) (2009), another major formaldehyde work shown here for the first time.

Also on view are Har Megiddo (2008), a monumental circular fly painting as well as The Dark Continent (2010), a stainless steel medicine cabinet stacked with black pills, behind glass.

This catalogue includes an interview with the artists by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition at Haunch of Venison, Berlin, May – August 2010.

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