sun 05/07/2020

Jake or Dinos Chapman, White Cube Mason's Yard and Hoxton | reviews, news & interviews

Jake or Dinos Chapman, White Cube Mason's Yard and Hoxton

Jake or Dinos Chapman, White Cube Mason's Yard and Hoxton

An exhibition that is clever, rich, layered. Oh, and very funny

'They Teach us Nothing': The Chapman children gather round an artwork© the artists; Courtesy White Cube

It begins in a so-so fashion. The ground-floor gallery at White Cube’s Mason’s Yard features a sea of Constructivist sculptures on plinths. These are made from bits of torn cardboard and loo rolls, sloppily painted. Jake and Dinos Chapman love corny art jokes, but this gag feels like it’s already a little flat. And I’m disappointed to be disappointed. Chapman exhibitions are always something to look forward to, and I was looking forward to this one, especially since they had in mind a game. And the game in this instance was that they had worked independently for the first time - in separate studios and unseen by the other - and you’d have to guess who’d done what.

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Fuck knows why, but I really love J and D's work, It kind off challenges you, you cant just walk in the gallery and not engage with the work, it makes you notice it on whatever level, just been to see the two shows today, its all a bit nervy, but them fuckin ss soldier tar faced bleeders were really intimidating, a bit like a motorway pileup, you don't really want to look, but you sort off have too,Christ only knows what it was like for the poor soles that met the basterds in the camps, etc, keep making the weird, coz I'll always have to look, I fuckin love it, cheers Charlie

I read the badges on the schoolchildren's uniforms as "Nothing They Teach Us", which refers to the swastika which the words encircle and of course their own bestial selves - in other words that everything we see in the skinned black Nazis came from human nature and nothing else. It's a brilliant exhibition that returns Nazis to their human scale and returns us to our blind complicity and returns Brueghel and Goya to their original subject matter and impact. These exhibitions are extraordinary, funny and traumatic.

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