I Hacked Damien Hirst, 2000
Magazine, envelope, letter, pictures
Dimensions variable

I Hacked Damien Hirst is an action that took place on October 10, 2000, when Damien Hirst was having a show at Gagosian Gallery (555W 24 St, NY, NY). When Merhi visited the gallery he saw an installation displaying a very peculiar object. It was one of Hirst's big glass rooms, containing two office desks, a sandwich, newspapers, books, ashtrays, a phone, and other objects. Among all the stuff, there was something that the artist couldn't believe was there: it was Damien Hirst's MasterCard®. The credit card was placed in a way that viewers only could see the back of it; also, the card was expired. But if the CC was real, just by changing the expiration date anyone would be able to use it.

Merhi took some pictures clandestinely, went home, and then started to think what to do. After a couple of hours he entered Artforum's website and subscribed Mr. Hirst for an annual subscription. It was a symbolical gesture to verify his CC and see how far this can get. To Merhi's surprise, the next week he received the October Artforum's edition. In this way, he found what can be called a 'bug', a 'back door', innocently placed by Hirst in his own work. Maybe the not so Young British Artist didn't think that someone in the art world could take advantage of a small detail like this one.

Through this action, it was demonstrated that hacking is not only limited to computers but it can be applied to anything, including "works of art." The magazine Merhi received, gently packed in a white plastic envelope, turned out to be the trophy, the evidence, and the artwork of this non-fictional performance. After getting the magazine, Merhi went to Gagosian Gallery and left a check to Mr. Hirst for the amount of Artforum's yearly subscription, as well as a letter explaining how he hacked him. The check was never cashed and the subscription was canceled. The next week, Merhi received a burned envelope, which he presumed came from Mr. Hirst.

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