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Life in McHell: The profoundly evil McDonaldland ‘hellscapes’ of Jake and Dinos Chapman

A tiny version of Ronald McDonald dancing on top of a cross. Part of a ‘hellscape’ by Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Jake and Dinos Chapman have been creating miniature “hellscapes” for nearly twenty years, with their first one being unveiled to the public in 1999. The diabolical work was unambiguously entitled “Hell” and took two years to make. In a not-so-strange twist of satanic fate, the warehouse that “Hell” was residing in caught fire and the pair’s debut hellscape was destroyed within in a matter of minutes. According to the Chapmans they received a phone call from a journalist about the demise of “Hell” asking them if it was true that “Hell” was “on fire”? Now that’s some cosmic irony.

Taking the loss in stride the brothers continued their work and followed up “Hell” with “Fucking Hell” which included over 30,000 figures, and the “Sum of All Evil” which focused on bringing together McDonald’s and Nazi symbolism, tormenting the fictional inhabitants of McDonaldland (you know, the place where French fries grow in gardens, hamburgers grow on trees and friendly fishies frolic around in Filet-O-Fish Lake) with visions of cannibalism, mutilation and death. The multi-faceted hellscape took more than six months to complete with the help of fifteen additional workers. While their hellscapes are about as grim as anything I’ve ever seen (and these eyes have seen a lot of grim), the Chapmans insist that their subversive work is meant to be more humorous than shocking. Here’s more from Jake Chapman on that:

It’s as pessimistic as we can make it, really. But it’s pessimistic in a joyful sense.

Jake’s sentiment made me pause for a moment during which time I recalled my reaction to the final scene in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds wherein the cast gets to rewrite history by obliterating Hitler and his Nazi ilk in a theater. Which was both incredibly gratifying and at times humorous thanks to Tarantino’s uncanny ability to make you laugh while people’s brains are being spattered all over the floor. So, is there joy in seeing a tiny plastic version of Ronald McDonald preparing his signature hamburgers made from the cannibalized remains of dead Nazis? Yes, yes there is some joy there. That said, absolutely everything you are about to see in this post is NSFW. And I’m lovin’ it.

A shot of the original “Hell” hellscape by Jake and Dinos Chapman that was ironically destroyed in a fire.

A shot of “Fucking Hell” featuring Hitler serenely painting on a hilltop.

Another grim angle on “Fucking Hell.”
More McHell after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Heil’ in one: Chapman Bros’ crazy golf Hitler causes outrage

Golfers are invited to get a ‘Heil’ in one when a controversial crazy golf exhibition opens in Derby, England later this month.

Doug Fishbone and Friends: Adventureland Golf presents artworks by the likes of Jake and Dinos Chapman, David Shrigley, Brian Griffiths, Jonathan Allen, Zatorski + Zatorski, and Doug Fishbone displayed over a golf course.

The course begins with Jonathan Allen’s boarded up library before heading over to Brian Griffiths’ desert island. Elsewhere David Shrigley offers advice and guidance on the participant’s way round the course such as “Respect Your Opponent”. In the context of holiday fun Jake and Dinos Chapman, and Doug Fishbone have created replicas of two dictators for the course which concludes with Zatorski + Zatorski’s black mausoleum-like slabs. After this hole the ball is irretrievable. The game is over!

The most controversial exhibits are a statue of Saddam Hussein by Fishbone, and a statue of Adolf Hitler, designed by the Chapman brothers.
When a player hits a ball through the Hitler hole, the fiberglass Führer raises his arm in a Nazi salute and says “Nein, nein, nein.”

London-based, American-artist Doug Fishbone claimed the intention was not to ridicule or minimize the suffering caused by these dictators.

However, when the exhibition first opened last year in the popular seaside resort of Blackpool, Michael Samuels, of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, described the Hitler statue as having “absolutely no artistic value whatsoever.”

The exhibition has inspired considerable debate on local newspaper the Derby Telegraph‘s website.

“Bagheera” criticised the exhibition and said: “As someone who lost family members in both conflicts, I consider this grossly offensive. If this is art then, quite frankly, we would be better off without it.”

Manasas called the exhibition a “total waste of public money”, said it was “insulting to the people who died under both monsters” and called for it to be cancelled.

Fellow reader Ianrad51 said: “I think the crazy golf course with Hitler and Saddam on it is sick.”

Other readers praised Quad for bringing the exhibition – called Doug Fishbone and Friends: Adventureland Golf – to Derby.

Ben-Spiller wrote: “Ridiculing tyranny through interactive art that provokes debate about the legacy of mass-murdering bigots can only be a good thing.

“Would Hitler and Hussein have wanted their legacy to include being figures of fun on a crazy-golf course for people from all cultures to enjoy together? Most probably not. This is a good reason to do just that.

“Let’s knock Hitler and Hussein off their self-made pedestals and have fun doing so but let’s also think about the terrible impact of their cruel regimes.”

Doug Fishbone and Friends: Adventureland Golf opens at the Quod in Derby on August 31st, details here.

H/T Derby Telegraph
A tour of the golf course plus an interview with Doug Fishbone, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Jake & Dinos Chapman: Jake or Dinos Chapman
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Jake and Dinos Chapman

For their new exhibit at the White Cube gallery in London, controversial British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman worked isolated from each other in separate studios. They only became aware of what the other brother had done when their “collaboration” got staged:

Since their work featured in both YBA exhibitions in the mid-nineties the Chapman brothers - Jake and Dinos - have become synonymous with controversial art, often having their work labelled as vulgar and offensive. But despite the labels and occasional spats with the press the Chapman brothers have been hugely important to British art and were nominated for the Turner prize in 2003. Here, talk to the brothers about their latest exhibition at the White Cube gallery, which for the first time they worked separately on, and finds out their message for fellow YBA Tracey Emin.

The White Cube show runs until September 17, 48 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6PB and 25-26 Mason’s Yard, London, SW1Y 6BU
Watch the video:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment