White Cube Mason’s Yard: 15/7/2011 – 17/09/2011 Free, Photos found on internet.
Hell on Earth
Transported into a world in which for a moment the absurd and the taboo are meshed like atoms confronting each other in the Large Hadron Collider. The show takes on historical constructs, taboos and events extrapolating them into a sphere of blunt arrangement in which they are laid bare for all to see from homosexuality to racism, genocide, anti-semitism, apostasy and the holocaust all are there in what may be to some a hell on earth.
Extant throughout the show is a sense of comedy from which one cannot shy away, the KKK clan member watching in what can only be described as a state of arousal, a reworking of Christ crucified on Mt Calvary, this version of course defaces the original beneath it to create a sort of degenerative visual bastardy, which in one sense questions the authenticity of apocryphal religious simulacra. The entire show like one perverse comedy sketch in which scene by scene, room by room the viewer is transported into strange worlds from fictional homosexual SS storm troopers, defecating prosthetic birds to KKK members clad in rainbow colours only illicits humor at the darker side of the human scale.
Men in Uniform
The arrangement of these acid-house storm troopers, was well thought out, the incongruous dreaded SS insignia connoting war, holocaust and anti Semitism juxtaposed to the archetypal acid smiley face. This direct confrontation, will either allow you to get the joke or leave in disgust. The show is essentially a continuation of the ‘Fucking Hell’ exhibition 2008, in which the artists were questioning the darker aspects of human nature which have always existed alongside the binaries of good/evil and light/darkness. Only this time the dioramas and toy size storm troopers are quite more menacing and life size.
Upstairs the show was quite different. It betokened perhaps a lesser quality, which seemed like early collections of primitive sculpture like Basquiat. Nevertheless the situation of the sculptures afforded the viewer quite a degree of control over his experience. Here the scale and arrangement allowed the viewer to approach the work and tower over it in contrast to the work below. The work features neatly arranged pedestals upon which are placed small sculptures each one is an assemblage of everyday material such as cardboard, and packaging crudely painted in variety of chromatic hues. The most interesting aspect of these were the titles which allowed the mind to wander a little more.
The exhibition has a highly charged and emotive voyeuristic nature, that will either bring out the indignant moralist, art critic or the beast in you. Possibly with a tendency to invoke all three. The show for all its initial shock, humor and dark (dis-)contents can never the less for a moment immerse, engage and transport the viewer into quite a charged scopic milieu. Perhaps what the show missed was some sort of performative aspect to really enforce the ‘Jake or Dinos Chapman’ heterotopia.
Dark Humour & Nazism coupled with firm nods to sculptural installation.
written by: Colin Humphrey