‘The Sum of All Evil’ is the catchy title of the Chapman brothers’ new exhibition in Hong Kong.
Despite the wealth of mass graves, genocidal motifs and violent depictions of the death of capitalism on show, Jake and Dinos said they do not want viewers to read too much into it all.
As Jake Chapman explained: “It’s as pessimistic as we can make it but it’s pessimistic in a joyful sense. Fatalistic in a joyful sense. There’s nothing foreboding about this. It doesn’t serve any kind of moral end.”
Whilst the Holocaust is clearly an inspiration, McDonald’s bares the brunt of things, with the mass crucifixion of several hundred Ronald McDonalds a notable centre-piece.
For Jake Chapman, the franchise is a useful benchmark for everything wrong with modern society:“We take McDonald’s as being a marker of the transformation from industrialisation to the end of the world. McDonald’s once represented the idealism of fast food and the space rest era. Now it’s consistent with the dilation of the ozone and a litigious clown who’s lost his sense of humour.’‘
Despite the fact that the Chapman brothers have amassed millions thanks to the lavishes of the global art market, they are equally renowned for savaging the moral bankruptcy of our consumerist society.
In between the piles of tortured Nazi soldiers on view at the White Cube gallery in Hong Kong, visitors can also find a series of paintings by unknown artists which the brothers, in their words, have ‘reworked and improved’.
‘The Sum of All Evil’ runs until the end of August.