Doha Review: Relics Damien Hirst @Al Riwaq Doha


Remember me telling you I had missed Damien Hirst's Relics two days back because of their operation hours which differed from the ones printed in the newspaper and on their site. So today despite being cognizant about the whole timing affair, AND after numerous failed attempts trying to reach them on the Museum's phone number listed on their website I decided to go there anyways. No way was I going to miss this dickum of an exhibition!


Fingers crossed, we made our way to The Cube located next to the Islamic Museum at Al Cornice and lo and behold, the exhibition was open! Unfortunely at the reception they scanned everything we carried as we made our way inside, and everyone's water bottles were confiscated, and they made everyone carrying cameras, DSLRs and such to keep them at the reception. If they missed it, they will make you take it out from your handbag after it went thru the X-Ray scans. Somehow my water bottle went thru. Just my luck I had to take pictures using my Samsung Note 2. I was looking forward to using my Fujifilm.


Before you proceed any further, let me start of with stating that viewer discretion is advised and the exhibits are provocative, hence some pictures I am not uploading but from what I have uploaded here you know what you can expect

Nevertheless, I really liked the exhibits, and there highlights of the show are

In formaldehyde solution tanks
  • the sharks in tank
  • the sliced goats
  • the beheaded cow
  • the skinned cow


The Black Sheep, 2007

The Leviathan's description

 Leviathan, 2006-2013


The Pursuit of Oblivion (2004)


 The Beheading (2006)



The Sliced Calf


Out of Sight, Out of Mind 1991


The innards of a fully-grown cow

The medicine exhibit
  • medicine in cabinets
  • medical equipments in glass cabinets
  • a piece of brain in formaldehyde solution
  • pills exhibited in accordance to the 4 seasons; winter, spring, summer and fall
 The description for the pills in glass encases color coded by the 4 seasons











Medical Equipments in Room 8. The pictures below are from the The Still, 1994 and The Stripper, 2006

Part of the human brain on the top shelf









The fishes swimming in direction, commissioned for Prada on loan for the exhibition



The flies in airtight tanks
  • two bloodied cow heads swarmed with flies in an airtight glass box (this was very provocative, especially so if you're a Hindu where cow are regarded as sacred and as such its meat not consumed)
The Black Sun 2004 is made up of flies and resin on a canvas

The floating:
  • ping pong balls
  • beach ball
  • randomly placed balls floating at the tip of 3 hoses

Loving in a World of Desire, 1996


History of Pain, 1991


I Want To Spend The Rest Of My Life with Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now (1991)

The spot paintings



 Spot Painting, 1996


For The Love of God (2007) & For Heaven's Sake (2008)


For The Love of God. 2007

And of course the highlight of the show were the two platinum and diamond studded skulls on display; one a child's and another an adult skull, complete with its teeth in tact. The adult skull was worth (to produce) 14 million pounds but the price tag was $100 million. The infant skull's price is not yet released. Of course they didn't allow photography in the room that had these two exhibits but I didn't know that so I only managed to take one picture of the adult skull before a white woman next to me went "are you allowed to take pictures?" which attracted the guard and he came by to stop me. He even went to the extend of asking if I did manage to take the picture but smart as I was my phone was on vibrate mode so the shutter didn't make any sound and YES, as you can see I did manage to get quite an up close and clear shot of The Love of God

The cigarettes and The colorful spinning wheels

The description for the cigarette butts on table for the displays below

The Original: The Acquired Inability to Escape, 1991

The Remake: The Acquired Inability to Escape (Purified) 2008

Dead Ends Meet Again, 1999


Horror at Home, 1995







The butterflies and The Cubic Zarconia Diamonds



Midas and the Infinite, 2008


Secrets of Love, 2003





Doorway to the Kingdom of Heaven 2007


Up close of the Doorway


Its Great to be Alive, 2002


Rapture, 2003


Paradise, 2008


Believer, 2008


Up close of the Believer

The Gold Man

The way he was draping his old skin reminded me so much of Dali's Persistence of Memory painting. I am sure Damien was inspired from him at some point for this exhibit

Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain, 2008


Damien's grandmother left him some of her prescriptions which were exhibited here, named Sinner


Away from the Flock, 1994

Boxes, 1988

Eight Pans, 1987


With Dead Head, 1991

11 Sausages, 1993

Sinner, 1988

Enemy, 1988-1989

Everything in the gift shop was expensive, and the cheapest items were the Made In China crayons (30 riyals) the keychains (30-49 riyals) some t-shirts for children (100 riyals and up) and even his books were going for 280 riyals each. There were also some of his kaleidoscope butterflies artwork personally signed by the artist himself on sale there, as well as some chairs but they were so outrageously priced I didn't bother a second glance

So I decided on his spot painting key chain for myself which was going for 30 riyals

For those (Qataris, please take note) with plenty of money to splurge, check out the items below



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