Hirst’s formaldehyde sculpture, ‘Black Sheep with Golden Horns’ (2009) is included in Obedience, an exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin which takes the biblical story of Abraham as its curatorial starting point.
Abraham, who is willing to obey God's command and sacrifice his son, Isaac, is one of the strangest and most puzzling passages of the Bible. In the three monotheistic religions, it is among the most significant and most popular stories and among the first that were ever depicted.
British film director Peter Greenaway and multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke have developed a multimedia exhibition – using film projections, installations, and sound in response to the biblical narrative.
In the context of the exhibition Hirst's 'Black Sheep with Golden Horns' references the narrative's crucial moment, in which God grants Abraham a reprieve as he is on the brink of sacrificing his own son and instead provides a ram for the altar.