Art Interview Interview

Top image: ‘One Day You Will No Longer Be Loved That It Should Come To This XIII (2013) by Jake and Dinos Chapman. Courtesy the artists.

Having been based in Hackney Wick for numerous years, the Chapman Brothers are the perfect duo for this year’s Art Night, an event inspired by the French Nuit Blanche movement that puts on art events in iconic and historic venues across East London.

The second year of this annual art festival will see free art, performance and music scattered throughout London’s East End, leading audiences along a trail of art, architecture, dance and music from the early hours of the evening until dawn. 

As part of this year’s line-up, Jake and Dinos Chapman have produced a new video installation, The Misshapeness of Things to Come (2017). Showing at a listed warehouse at London Dock, the video will be screened alongside a unique performance from Jake Chapman and his band. Whilst a selection of the Chapmans’ defaced prints will be shown amongst the furnishings of Dennis Severs’ House – a recreation of what life would have been like for a family of 18th century Huguenot silk weavers.

Here, we catch up with the Jake and Dinos to discuss their new project (in a very Chapman Brothers way).

'The New Arrival' (2014-16) by Jake and Dinos Chapman. Courtesy the artists and White Cube

Thalia Chinn: What attracted you to Art Night and what will The Misshapeness of Things to Come bring to the evening?
The Chapman Brothers: We were attracted by the kind invitation of the Art Night curator Fatos Ustek, who was kind enough to consider us. The Misshapeness of Things to Come will contribute a little migraine to the evening – that and a little deafness.

Thalia: Your work is renown for its use of symbolism, what symbols should audiences look out for in The Misshapeness of Things to Come
The Chapman Brothers: Oh the usual ones – life, death, hope, sadness, despair, hopelessness, torment, tormentlessness mess, happiness, unhappiness, joy, pain, anger, headache, irritation, bewilderment, puzzlement, indifference, inertia, wonderment, and some others. 

'One Day You Will No Longer Be Loved That It Should Come To This XIII (2013) by Jake and Dinos Chapman. Courtesy the artists

Thalia: Art Night this year specifically concentrates on East London, how much has the area informed your work for the evening?
The Chapman Brothers: We used to live in the East End of London for many years, so the area informed us very much, but how it informed our work is hard to say, although if you listen closely to the work it whispers in a cockney accent. 

Thalia: Alongside your work at London Docks, you will also have work in the historic Dennis Severs House, how important is the location to your work?
The Chapman Brothers: The location is very important to our work. It’s very important that our work and the location coincide, otherwise they’d be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Inside Dennis Severs House. Master Bedroom. Photo by Roelof Bakker

Thalia: The nighttime setting seems the perfect backdrop for your performance at the London Docks, how important is setting to its reception?
The Chapman Brothers: Setting and reception are integral to performance, since if setting and reception are not synchronised then the whole performance thing is out the window, literally.  

Thalia: Your installation will be accompanied by a music performance, what do you think is the most effective bi-product of the intersection between the visual and the audio?
The Chapman Brothers: Ears.

Art Night supported by Phillips takes place across East London on 1st July. www.artnight.london