the gazette 2014

Chapman brothers’ art has absolutely no redeeming value

the gazette 2014

Chapman brothers’ art has absolutely no redeeming value

John Pohl
The Gazette

Come and See is an exhibition at DHC/ART by two artists who claim they are trying to undermine the idea that art must have a purpose.

It’s not hard to take brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman at their word: What does a tableau with mounds of miniature corpses, skeleton soldiers, Nazis — and multiple Ronald MacDonalds — mean? Or a workbench with a rotating saw, severed sex organs, brains and worms?

It’s not quite as awful as it sounds. The scenes of carnage, most of them contained in large vitrines, are muted by their resemblance to horror film schlock, and the evident craftsmanship that went into reshaping and painting the miniature plastic figurines.

And humour. Look into the vitrines and you see witty little tableaus among the carnage. Ronald McDonald is nailed to a cross, and a soldier raises a lance to offer him — not a vinegar-soaked cloth — but a hamburger.

The Chapmans began collaborating in the early 1990s and first gained attention for their three-dimensional recreation of Goya’s series of etchings, Disasters of War, according to London’s Serpentine Gallery, where Come and See was on display until January.

Photo : A skeleton in a German helmet enjoys a McDonald’s meal.

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