Reviews were all but universally terrible but, being in Venice while the exhibit was running, at two locales simultaneously, proved too much for Jim McPherson, the creator/writer of the Phantacea Mythos, to resist in September 2017.
Have three posts that first appeared on pHantacea on pHacebook, plus a couple of bonus shots. Commentary mostly taken from Phantacea Publications Facebook Page.
Scroll down for reiteration of images and comments …
<== To the left is a shot of the banner for “Treasures from the WRECK of the Unbelievable. Damien Hirst” exhibit running in September 2017. Spotted and shot by Jim McPherson outside the Palazzo Grassi in Venice Italy.
It’s the second venue for the show but the first visited. Exhibit ran from 09/04/2017-03/12/2017
==> According to the brochure that came with admission, the image to the right (which needs a good clicking to fully appreciate its sheer, laugh-out-loud immensity) is somewhat unimaginatively called ‘Demon with a Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement).
Sooth further said, enlargement is something of an understatement. For one thing, even in the narrative it’s just (?) an outlandish copy of a much more sensibly sized golem: “It seems … the figure served as a guardian to the home of an elite person.” In ancient Mesopotamia, also according to accompanying brochure.
<== To the left is a frontal view of the supposedly Mesopotamian Colossus as taken from the second level of the Palazzo Grassi. Some tinkering with the levels on Photoshop has brought out, for the better, the demon’s contours.
The squiggles and encrustations are artistic conceits perhaps left in to indicate the original lay “… submerged in the Indian Ocean for some two thousand years before the site was discovered in 2008.”
==> To the immediate right is a back shot of the colossus looking down, down, down from the 3rd level of the Palazzo Grassi. Once again the conceit of the artist, not to mention the demon’s forgers, is that the original was found underwater, hence the coral and other encrustations.
<== Looking through window on an upper floor of the Palazzo Grassi in September 2017 and what does one see but a sea monster rising out of Grand Canal. Note the Ca Rezzonico palazzo on the other side. It comes highly recommended for its massive gallery of Eighteenth Century Italian artwork.
==> To the right and again looking up, way up, from the ground level is a shot put on Facebook just to see if its censors were watching.
Supposedly the Colossus was and is anatomically correct. Or at least as proportionately correct as a 60-foot bronze behemoth could be.
(Again according to the brochure, it’s a facsimile of the original, which wasn’t at the Palazzo. Might have been at the other venue, Punta della Dogana, across the Grand Canal a few stops south of the San Samuele vaporetto dock.)
<== Have to ask, if it sank nearly two thousand years ago: What’s Mickey doing on the Unbelievable? Time warp, perhaps? Could be Disney partially funded Hirst’s extravaganza and wanted some of their characters to join in the very expensive fun.
Which sounds like something only a cynical dullard would say. Sorry about that, Damien.
==> As for the shot to the immediate right of his paragraph, is that really what’s become of the skull and horn of a unicorn after two thousand years?
Might it be a Raven’s Head type from the Phantacea Mythos? For comparison have lynx to the covers for “Forever & Forty Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA“ and “Phantacea Revisited 1: The Damnation Brigade“, both of which have Raven’s Head on the cover.
<== Colossus doesn’t look quite so large in this slide. Could there be two of them? Contextually speaking it’s more likely this is the original.
In terms of the Phantacea Mythos, can’t be Catastrophe (Headless Ramazar, the Apocalyptic of Sudden Destruction, a head shot of whom shows up a cpuple of paragraphs down), from the comics and novels, notably “The War of the Apocalyptics“. Too underdressed.
==> Tempted to say the shot of a shot to the upper right represents Thalassa D’Angelo, unless it’s Thalassa Thanatos, D-Brig’s Sea Goddess, notably from the obverse cover of pH-3, artwork by Ian Bateson 1978.
Too bad there’s only a hint of a third eye on the sunken idol. Like the bubbles, though.
<== Jaws butts in on the Kraken. Andromeda doesn’t look too pleased either way.
Wasn’t the best shot taken so darkened the background and greyed up some of the sides in hopes of bringing out characters better.
<== The elaborate diorama is not only huge it really is blue. As per shots later, and one put up last week, Andromeda really isn’t headless. She is chained, however, and does seem to have an extra hand in this shot.
==> Needs to do a Nihila and break loose pretty damn soon. Jaws and the Kraken look ravenous and could care less about social media.
<== Reference above is to what’s become of Datong Harmony as of Tantalar 5980. Google up Nueva Democracia for the unadulterated Siqueiros or just hit here
==> Only one mobile head in the Phantacea Mythos and that’s Bodiless Byron. He isn’t called the Unmoving One because he can’t get around — he can, by sheer force of will.
He’s called Unmoving Byron because no part of his face moves when he speaks, via a form of thought transference, through his mouthpieces … Sedona Spellbinder in “The War of the Apocalyptics“ and APM All-Eyes in “Hidden Headgames“.
<== Although definitely demonic I’m not sure this huge head would even fit atop the headless Colossus let alone if it really belongs there.
The accompanying brochure says it was tentatively identified as Pazuzu, a googleable Mesopotamian demon, and that it was unearthed in 1932 in the Tigris Valley. (Pazuzu had something to do with the horror movie entitled “The Exorcist”, may have even been the possessive devil who drove the girl to such head-turning extremes.)
==> Also not sure if this really would pass for the skull and extended horn of a ravendeer in the Phantacea Mythos. Then again the exhibit’s claim that it belonged to an actual unicorn is arguably even more fanciful.
<== Another view of the unicorn’s skull and broken horn unearthed (unwatered?) near the sunken wreckage of the Unbelievable. Skull looks like something you’d rub and expect three wishes from the genie wafting out of it.
NOTE: The best in-colour, pictorial example of a ravendeer — Raven’s Head? — appears on the cover of 1990’s “Forever & 40 Days – The Genesis of PHANTACEA“. Raven’s Head the character has her biggest role to date in “Decimation Damnation“.
In pHanta-pHact she appears in all of the 19/5980 novels and mini-novels. She even does a cameo, in her multitude, near the end of “Hidden Headgames“. It’s in Dec-Dam, the opening entry in Phantacea Phase Two, that she shows the petulant side of her nature.
<== Yehudi Cohen, D-Brig’s Untouchable Diver, is another long-serving character who reappears in Dec-Dam (after vanishing, then inexplicably, during “Helios on the Moon“). He has a much more significant role than Raven in Games.
Have to say, though, that Hirst’s Diver, so-called, looks more female than male. Still, it’d be remiss not include it in post re treasures of the ‘Unbelievable’.
==> As for Hirst’s Medusa, the accompanying brochure claims that “fourteen of the world’s most venomous snakes … crown the Gorgon’s petrified features.”
Might have to add this one to the longtime pHanta-pHeature ‘Medusa’s I have met‘.
End post … for now!