Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable

9 April 2017 – 3 December 2017
Solo Exhibition. Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy.

Photographed by Christoph Gerigk
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ is Hirst’s most ambitious and complex project to date. Ten years in the making, the project is exceptional in scale and scope. The exhibition tells the story of the ancient wreck of a large ship, the ‘Unbelievable’ (Apistos in the original Koine Greek), and presents what was discovered of its cargo.

It is the first major solo exhibition of the artist’s work to be presented in Italy since the 2004 retrospective at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples (‘The Agony and Ecstasy’). The exhibition is displayed across 5,000 square metres of museum space and marks the first time that Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, the two Venetian venues of the Pinault Collection, are both dedicated to a single artist. The show is curated by Elena Geuna, curator of the monographic shows dedicated to Rudolf Stingel (2013) and Sigmar Polke (2016) presented at Palazzo Grassi. 

An eponymous film released on Netflix traces the story behind the project. Hirst collaborated with director Sam Hobkinson and producer Nicolas Kent to chronicle the exhibition’s extraordinary backstory; the discovery and excavation of the ancient shipwreck.