Damien Hirst will pickle Tracey Emin for an exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries programmed to coincide with Frieze Week 2068, it was announced this morning. Seven others YBAs are rumoured to have signed up for suspension in tanks of formaldehyde; speculation is rife that Jay Jopling has also volunteered his services.
Speaking at a press conference for his major retrospective opening in Venice this month, Hirst revealed that the idea came to him on a visit to the London Aquarium last year. ‘I had a sudden vision of my peers from Goldmiths, floating in cases of bright green chemical fluid’, he said.
It is not known whether the artworks will enter a public collection after the exhibition, or whether any will be available for private collectors to acquire. Former culture minister Ed Vaizey wrote on Instagram that the ‘YBA tanks’ ought to be bequeathed to the nation.
Emin herself seemed less concerned about whether the preserved YBAs would saved for the nation. ‘The whole thing’s just a bit of harmless fun,’ she said.