posted by Christopher Howard — Jun 04, 2010
The chairs of a session for the 2011 CAA Annual Conference—Debora Silverman of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Sarah Thornton, author of Seven Days in the Art World—seek proposals of papers for a panel called “Prophet/Profit: The Famous Case of Damien Hirst.”
Damien Hirst has garnered more global media attention and appears to have amassed more wealth than any other living artist. His work has transformed the relationship of artist and auction house and punctuated the halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rijksmuseum. But what is Hirst’s place in art history? The scholarship on Hirst is thin on the ground compared to the miles of copy devoted to him in the popular press. We invite papers that address any aspect of his artistic practice, including its forms, themes, biographical issues, and socioeconomics. Silverman will present a paper entitled “Marketing Thanatos,” linking the violence of Hirst’s artworks to a range of historical sources from the Psalms to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Thornton, a regular contributor to the Economist, will compare Hirst’s artistic and marketing strategies to those of Andy Warhol and other artists who work as “creative directors.” Thomas Crow of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, will act as the discussant. We are keen to be joined by scholars representing a range of perspectives.