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In this melancholic image of the “Utopia” series, Hirst puts death as an inevitable, all consuming force which leaves us no escape. Put on shiny silvery shelves and reflected by mirrors in those shelves, the dark black pills are rather a threat than a promise for a good night’s sleep – more a complete nemesis than a restful recharge of energy.
"It’s like God should be, the way they sell you the pills, the forms, the utopia, the hope, the cure. We’ve come a long way since quack doctors."—Damien Hirst
There is no immanent salvation promise, no escape offered. Moreover, those black pills are as menacing as they are strangely attractive, a dark fatal attraction which we already know leads to only one solution.Hirst’s work questions the ambiguous role of medicine as a god-like power which can both take life and save life, destroy and restore. These pills are not a “memento mori” like the skulls or the butterflies. They are a symbol for resignation and alienation from life, and a fatal attraction to death.