The Problems with Relationships, 1995



The Problems with Relationships
3048 x 12192 mm | 120 x 480 in
Tri-vision rotating billboard
Image: Photographed by Mike Parsons © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012


Solo Exhibition - 1996
Gagosian Gallery, Wooster Street, New York, United States


“When you put most things together formally in unexpected ways, you can arrive at the big issues: sex, death, life, religion, beauty, science. Love is kind of it. There are no other big subjects, really, and you can cover it all with a jar of Vaseline and a cucumber.”[1]

‘The Problems with Relationships’ consists of a large-scale, tri-vision advertising billboard. Exhibited as part of Hirst’s first show at Gagosian Gallery, New York, ‘No Sense of Absolute Corruption’ (1996), the movement incorporated into the rotating work enables the image to “go on forever, you can look at it and through it simultaneously”.[2]

Referencing the visual power of advertising, the first billboard image consists of a hammer and a peach, “for violence”; the second, a jar of Vaseline and a cucumber, “for sex”; and the third the work’s title, ‘The Problems with Relationships’.[3]

[1] Damien Hirst cited in ‘Leviathan: A Conversation with Damien Hirst and John Gray’, ‘Corpus: Damien Hirst, Drawings 1981–2006’ (Other Criteria/Gagosian Gallery, 2006), 32

[2] Damien Hirst cited in ‘An Interview with Damien Hirst’, Stuart Morgan, ‘No Sense of Absolute Corruption’ (Gagosian Gallery, 1996), 25–27

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