Controversial artist, Damien Hirst, at his Venice show "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" at Palazzo Grassi presents "Golden heads (Female)", a replica of Ife sculpture with no reference to Ife or Nigeria.
Victor Ehikhamenor, one of the artists representing Nigeria in Venice Biennial and presenting the Biography of the Forgotten, a large-scale work fusing abstract shapes with traditional sculpture, informed by an investment in classical Benin art and the effect of colonialism on cultural heritage posted this on his Instagram page earlier today.
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Ehikhamenor captioned the post, "The British are back for more from 1897 to 2017. The Oni of Ife must hear this. "Golden heads (Female)" by Damien Hirst currently part of his Venice show "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" at Palazzo Grassi.For the thousands of viewers seeing this for the first time, they won't think Ife, they won't think Nigeria. Their young ones will grow up to know this work as Damien Hirst's. As time passes it will pass for a Damien Hirst regardless of his small print caption. The narrative will shift and the young Ife or Nigerian contemporary artist will someday be told by a long nose critic "Your work reminds me of Damien Hirst's Golden Head". We need more biographers for our forgotten. "
He also posted a photo of the Hirst's postcard of Golden heads which he captioned, "This postcard of "Golden heads (Female)" by Damien Hirst with no reference to Ife and great artists that originally made these timeless classic will travel far and wide. Once again the hunter has glorified his tale in the absence of the lion. "
Damien Hirst’s "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" exhibition which is a result of extensive work carried out by the controversial artist in the last decade has done nothing but invoke anger in Nigerians, who upon seeing Ehikhaemenor's post on the internet didn't take the news so well and have vented their anger as seen in their various comments on Instagram.
Some Nigerians went on to blame the government for this kind of calamity.
Some others ensure they play their part in spreading the news far and wide the country and across and also tagging media houses.
Others feel it's disheartening and unfair on our parts as such wouldn't be condoned if a Nigerian does such.
Well, Damien Hirst, what have you got to say to all of these?