Jake and Dinos Chapman

Jake and Dinos Chapman

Hitler Turning in his Grave

Death threats from neo-Nazis was just one of the many extreme responses to the English artist duo Jake and Dinos Chapman’s controversial and much debated exhibition of modified watercolours by Hitler. Hear their thoughts on the divisive project.

When choosing to work with Hitler’s watercolours, Jake and Dinos Chapman wanted to confront the idea that a work of art can reveal something about a person – that it has a latent sense of self-expression – and why then the presence of foreboding evil is in no way represented in Hitler’s paintings: “The work is blank.”

“Using My Little Pony to kick Adolf Hitler is entirely appropriate.” By adding little rainbows and other such motifs, Jake and Dinos Chapman sought not only to transgress the paintings’ metaphysical value of evil but also to alter historical documents to the point where they became theirs rather than history’s: “The idea of Hitler turning in his grave because we painted rainbows on his pictures is fantastically pleasurable.”

Iakovos “Jake” (b. 1966) and Konstantinos “Dinos” (b. 1962) are English visual artists, often known as the Chapman Brothers, who began their collaboration in 1991. The brothers often use plastic models or fibreglass mannequins in their work, exploring the theme of the anatomical and pornographic grotesque. They are known for their deliberately shocking and controversial subject matter, including the series of works featured in this video, which appropriated 13 original watercolours by Adolf Hitler, to which they had added hippie motifs: ‘If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be’ (White Cube, 2008). Similarly, they had previously manipulated a selection of Spanish painter Francisco Goya’s drawings in the series ‘The Disaster of War’ (1999) with chilling and sometimes comic effect. They have exhibited extensively, including solo shows at Tate Britain (2007), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2005) and PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2000). Both live and work in London.

For more about Jake and Dinos Chapman see here: http://jakeanddinoschapman.com/everything/

Jake and Dinos Chapman were interviewed by Christian Lund at David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen in connection to the exhibition ‘Come, Hell or High Water’ in November 2014.

Among the works shown in the video are: 'Jake und Adolf III', 'Jake und Adolf IV', 'Jake und Adolf VI', 'Dinos und Adolf I', 'Dinos und Adolf V' and 'Dinos und Adolf VII' - all by Jake and Dinos Chapman, 2008.

Camera: Nikolaj Jungersen
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • 8 Artists

    On Painting

    ”A painting must always move beyond its subject,” says British painter Michael Simpson, who sees the practice of painting as ”giving form to an idea.” Hear how he, David Hockney and 6 other painters work with the classical art form.

  • Mette Winckelmann

    Woman to Woman

    ”You must evaluate whether the system you’re part of could be effectuated differently.” Meet artist Mette Winckelmann, who believes that abstract painting communicates deeper than language, and explore her visual take on gender politics.

  • Chigozie Obioma

    Everything We Do is Preordained

    Award-winning Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma calls his debut novel ‘The Fishermen’ “an Igbo version of a tragedy.” Meet the author and hear about his modern day metaphor of “the paradox that is Nigeria.”

  • Ed Ruscha

    Words Have No Size

    The road to being an artist was “like blind leading the blind” says Ed Ruscha, who grew to be one of the most recognised American artists of the 20th century. Hear the story of West Coast Jazz, his break with abstract art and L.A. in the 1960s.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Adam Caruso

    Novelty is nonsense

    "The European city is one of the great human inventions!” Adam Caruso advocates building with a deep sense of history and tradition. Meet the architect behind the award-winning Tate Britain conversion and numerous Gagosian galleries.

  • Thomas Hirschhorn

    A World of Collage

    Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn juxtaposes pixelated images from the media. His works are not about technology, says the artist: “I try to give form to what I can’t accept: that someone else can decide for me what I should do, see or think.”

  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    On Donald Trump

    Jonathan Safran Foer, star of American literature, offers interesting views on America’s new president and the consequences Trump will have on American culture. "The place for literature may be even more important than before," he says.

  • Dorte Mandrup

    Where Place Meets Sculpture

    Rising from the landscape in a place rich with materiality and history sits architect Dorte Mandrup’s new Wadden Sea Centre. Meet the renowned architect and see a building were “everything comes together.”

  • 5 Artists

    on Making Sculptures

    “All sculpture that I’m interested in knows that death is the inevitable conclusion.” Award-winning artist Antony Gormley sees art as the expression and generation of hope. Hear how he and five other artists work with sculpture.

  • Karl Ove Knausgård

    Literature Should be Ruthless

    Karl Ove Knausgård has enchanted the literary world with ‘My Struggle’, a novel of more than 3000 pages about his own life. Watch the star author discuss literature, writing and how his autobiographical style is closely connected to fiction.