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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

REMIXED BY THE CHAPMAN BROTHERS

It's been interesting, the reaction to The Chapman Bros' remixes of Hitler's paintings...and while I don't subscribe to the mock-horror and vague indignation expressed by some UK newspapers - most too frightened to express any real opinion "'cos it's Art, innit...and we're scared we might misinterpret it and then look stooopid..." - I do think that the Hilter Remixes are wretchedly lazy pieces of art. But, hey, what do I know - I don't get to curate ATP or contribute to Collapse lol.

This, from some website-or-other: "Tim Marlow, director of exhibitions at the White Cube, insisted that the Chapman Brothers' project was not glorifying the work. "There's no question about them paying homage to them," he said. "These are very bad paintings - abject paintings...""

Well, actually, I think they're still very bad paintings.

The Chapman Bros' 'interventions' add nothing to the paintings of any great import, to be honest, either physically or conceptually. They highlight nothing beyond the bleedin' obvious.

So, evil ol' 'itler was a bad artist...ohmigosh, really. An unimaginative artist, but an imaginative mass-murderer. Ya don't say?

If it's irony yr looking for, then I had a chuckle when I heard they'd bought H's water-colours for £115,000 (I mean, how many artists have got that sort of cash to chuck around?) and intend to sell 'em (plus dinky little stick-on rainbows and smiley-faced suns) for £685,000. Kerchhhhiiiinnnnng! Now, there's yer real story...

(Okay, in fairness to Jake n Dinos, I believe their new piece "Fucking Hell" contains a miniature Hitler sat at his easel painting the hellish inferno laid out in front of him - so if you link this piece together w/ the Hitler Remixes then together they create a sorta interleavened meta-concept-piece (a model of Hitler paints a picture of a nightmarish War-is-Hell scene that has been created by his own actions concept-jumps to a banal painting by the real Hitler that has been remodelled to be even more banal by the people who made the model of Hitler painting, etc), but fucked if I know (or care) whether that was their original intention lol) Out of interest, C. Saatchi bought the original "Hell" for half-a-mil, which was then destroyed in the Momart warehouse fire, but their remix of "Hell" - "Fucking Hell" - has sold for 7.5 or 8.5 mil (depending on which paper you read...lol) Kerchhhhiiiinnnnng!

Still, this...



isn't really a remix of one of Hitler's painting...it's actually a remix of this:



Duchamp's shadow still falls across the art world. He must be laughing in his grave, the old bugger...wh/ means that, after all these years, people are just basically buying the same piece of artwork...a remix of a remix of a remix of an idea, bought over and over again for larger and larger amounts of money...there's a sucker born every minute.

And this...



...surely, it's just a remix of this Steeleye Span album:

4 Comments:

At 1:54 am, Blogger El Duderino said...

If Hitler did 'abject' paintings does that make him an 'abject expressionist'?

 
At 10:50 am, Blogger cowsarejustfood said...

i always get the impression that there’s less to the chapmans work than meets the eye…

 
At 11:51 am, Blogger johneffay said...

To be fair to the Chapman's, the Hitler thing isn't so much a remix of Duchamp (who after all, didn't use a genuine da Vinci) as a retread of their own defacing of those Goya prints about five years back.

The Goya thing at least had some sort of shock value going for it, as people got upset about 'great works of art' being abused that way. So, at a push, you could argue J&D were asking (not very interesting) aesthetic questions about the status of the artwork. Trouble with the Hitler paintings is that most people wouldn't even be offended if J&D wiped their arses with them, so it's all rather pointless.

From the photos I've seen of the Hell tableau, it strikes me that it could massively improved by the addition of a scale model railway with trains running through it...

 
At 10:59 pm, Blogger kek-w said...

Johhhhn!!! Thank God - you're still alive! gOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU...

I just put you on my RIP link-list - should I re-instate you to the main bit??

Yeah, point taken about genuine Da Vinci's, etc - I was going to mention the Goya prints in the post...in fact, as i was writing it I examined my own feelings on the Goya Remixes and was surprised how annoyed it made me - I'm not precious about so-called 'great art' but I do like *some* of Goya's stuff...so score one for the Chapmans - I mean, how *dare* I get annoyed lol.

"at a push, you could argue J&D were asking (not very interesting) aesthetic questions about the status of the artwork" - one idea they were playing with was the notion of ownership...they stated very clearly that the painting's were no longer Hitler's, they were their's, that they had 'claimed' them as a result of the Remixes...(c/f that with Duchamp's assertion that, with his Readymades, he had made an explicit decision that a found object was a piece of art because he said so, ie he had 'claimed' it...)...I think it was Tim Marlow again who went a step further and said the Chapman's had "annihlated" (interesting use of a word there)Hitler's paintings - ie had completely replaced his intents with theirs...but I'm not sure that's true, is it...they seem to me to still be (very much) Hitler's paintings, not the Chapman's....the Chapman's bits seem like add-ons - the intent of the original painting - its ontological identity or 'personality', if you like, seems to have survived the remix...

It's all very curious, I think.

And Chapman is very nearly an anagram of Duchamp lol. What's it all mean ??

Anyway, good to hear from you...

 

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