This installation features a large glass and steel vitrine containing an office table and chair, an anaesthetiser, and two gas cylinders containing a medical stimulant and a suppressant. The vitrine is divided into three compartments: sheets of glass violently bisect the furniture and equipment, while the third space contains the cylinders. The work reveals a controlled situation in whose glossy surface the cracks are beginning to show - a shiny monument to a modern male struggling with divided personality; his mood swings manipulated by modern science. As Damien Hirst has commented: 'I access people's worst fears'.
'He Tried to Internalise Everything' is from a series entitled 'Internal Affairs', which Hirst began in 1991. In this series, objects become metaphors for states of mind and contemporary human dilemmas. Themes of claustrophobia and breathlessness, along with the anxieties caused rather than eased by modern medicine, run through the 'Internal Affairs' series. These sculptures are presented in steel-framed glass vitrines: in other works by Hirst, these frames have the practical function of containing liquid but their formal function here is to establish an artistic context that is cool and minimal.
Rosemary Harris, Isobel Johnstone and Helen Luckett
- Artwork Details: 213.4 x 304.8 x 213.4cm
- Material description: Glass, steel, silicone rubber, Formica, MDF, chair, general anaesthetic machine and gas cylinders
- Credit line: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2015. Purchased 1996, with financial assistance from the Henry Moore Foundation.
- Accession number: ACC21/1995