Damien Hirst, ‘The Acquired Inability to Escape’, 1991, Glass, steel, silicone rubber, Formica, fibreboard, chair, ashtray, lighter and cigarettes.
"The Acquired Inability to Escape is a sculptural installation comprising an office table and chair enclosed in a vitrine or cell. Supported by heavy steel frames held in place by large bolts, the cell’s thick glass walls invite the viewer’s gaze while emphasising the sealed condition of the space inside. The cell has two chambers, divided by a wall of glass, which is itself divided into two sections separated by a 45mm gap that allows the passage of air. The larger chamber is just big enough to contain the long rectangular desk and chair; the smaller is narrow and empty. Lying on the white laminate surface of the table, a packet of Silk Cut cigarettes, a white Bic lighter, and a glass ashtray containing cigarette butts and ash suggest the presence of an invisible and anonymous occupant. In contradiction to this, the black office chair, of the sort that rotates and is height adjustable, is pulled up close to the table in order to fit into the claustrophobic space, leaving no room at all for a human body.”