Enemy, 1988 - 1989



1988 - 1989
1372 x 1016 x 229 mm | 54 x 40 x 9 in
Glass, painted faced particle board, ramin, plastic, aluminium and pharmaceutical packaging
Image: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012


Solo Exhibition - 2013
ALRIWAQ, Qatar Museums Authority, Doha, Qatar
Solo Exhibition - 2010
L&M Arts, New York, United States


‘Enemy’ is the second ‘Medicine Cabinet’ Hirst made following the fabrication of ‘Sinner’ in 1988. The cabinet was created whilst Hirst was still at Goldsmiths, and during the period in which he was using the ‘Freeze’ warehouse as a studio space along with Angus Fairhurst, Mat Collishaw and Angela Bulloch.

Whilst ‘Sinner’ provided a personal portrait of Hirst’s late grandmother through its incorporation of her prescription medicines, the artist intended ‘Enemy’ to contain new medical packaging every time it was exhibited, so that it constantly appeared contemporary. The contrasting contents of the cabinets bear testimony to Hirst’s interest in medicine boxes as a means of creating or denying historical patterns. Of the boxes and containers incorporated into ‘Pharmacy’ (1992), Hirst explains that they act as a contemporary museum, which in a 100 years’ time “will look like an old apothecary”.[1]

The packaging was updated as planned during the cabinet’s exhibition at London restaurant Quo Vadis and The Wellington Club (where it was damaged). Hirst then chose to retain the contents from 2008 for his 2010 exhibition at L & M Gallery, New York, ‘The Complete Medicine Cabinets’.

[1] Damien Hirst cited in ‘Life’s Like This and Then It Stops’, Adrian Dannatt (Flash Art, no. 169, 1993)