She Wanted to Find the Most Perfect Form of Flying, 1992



She Wanted to Find the Most Perfect Form of Flying
2210 x 2692 x 2438 mm | 87 x 106 x 96 in
Glass, steel, table, chair, women's coat, coat hanger, glass bowl, live goldfish, blood and household gloss on wall
Image: Courtesy of Jay and Donatella Chiat, New York © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012


Solo Exhibition - 1992
Jay & Donatella Chiat, New York, United States


"With sex, it always becomes comedy or murder with me, for some reason."[1]

The early vitrine piece ‘She Wanted to Find the Most Perfect Form of Flying’ became, in 1994, the first work Hirst sold to a museum (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem). The vitrine is split into three equal segments. The glass walls and personal belongings scattered in the first two compartments are coated in blood, whilst the third contains only a pristine white coat. Included in the work is a single-coloured spot painting in dark red, applied directly to the gallery wall.

‘She Wanted to Find the Most Perfect Form of Flying’ was shown at an exhibition of Hirst works held at the home of the collectors Jay and Donatella Chiat in New York in 1992, ‘Where is God Now?’. The live goldfish incorporated into the work was added on Jay Chiat’s suggestion. Hirst explains: “He saw the piece with all the blood and said, ‘There’s got to be something left alive after all that chaos.’”[2]

Whilst planning the piece, Hirst stated:  “If I was to do sexual work I would try to make it out of a quirky formalism and very intense subject matter, where they are totally separate from each other.”[3]

[1] Damien Hirst cited in, ‘A Conversation: Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami’, Requiem I (Other Criteria/Gagosian Gallery, 2009), 12

[2] Damien Hirst cited in Damien Hirst, ‘I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now’ (Booth-Clibborn Editions; Reduced edition, 2005), 56

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