Still Pursuing Impossible Desires, 1992



Still Pursuing Impossible Desires
2210 x 3048 x 2134 mm | 87 x 120 x 84 in
Glass, steel, silicone rubber, household gloss on canvas and butterflies
Image: Photographed by Larry Lame for the Barbara Gladstone Gallery © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012


"I’m going to die and I want to live forever. I can’t escape the fact and I can’t let go of the desire."[1]

This early vitrine work was exhibited as part of a group exhibition, ‘British Art’ (1992) at Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York.

The steel and glass vitrine in ‘Still Pursuing Impossible Desires’ is split into two unequal compartments, one five-feet wide, the other two-feet wide. The thinner remains empty whilst the larger space houses two destroyed butterfly monochrome paintings, one blue and one pink – for male and female. The canvases form a see-saw, whilst the floor beneath it is littered with the randomly placed bodies of dead butterflies. Empty pupae, implying the butterflies once lived within the vitrine, are suspended using sellotape against the glass wall dividing the two halves.

[1] 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), 82