Jonathan Meese & his mother

Jonathan Meese & his mother

Mommy and me are animals

German artist & enfant terrible Jonathan Meese is interviewed with the most important person in the world – his 84 year old mother, Brigitte Meese. The two have worked together for 44 years, if you include the years before he became an artist.

You would have to look at long time to find a more endearing, odd couple than Meese and his mother. They seem in many ways to be complete opposites, yet their mutual love and respect has shaped a very fruitful environment for creating art. As Jonathan Meese explains: “When you love somebody you shout!”

Art is a family business, according to Jonathan Meese, who has lived with his mother all his life. Meese describes his art, and the space he creates for himself as “anti-reality”: A utopian future without parliaments. A place where play is master, and humans are free of ideology, politics or religion, living with full passion.

Brigitte Meese describes Jonathan Meese as a dreamer, who used to have no idea what he wanted to do, and explains that she was simply glad when he finally found a passion for something. Brigitte Meese also tells us what she thinks about Jonathan Meese's special brand of art: “I am 84 years old, and I was educated in the tradition of older art. I now got used to contemporary art: Some of it I like, some of it I don't understand. But I work for 'The Case'.” She supports Jonathan Meese in creating his things, helps sort out his collection of items, and assists him when he plays with it.

Jonathan Meese and his mother do agree on some things though – for instance that Jonathan Meese takes energy out of his stomach and puts it onto the canvas. Jonathan Meese explains: “It's evolution, it's playing – but afterwards comes the words. We belong here, because we are animals: Biting away reality. That is my aim! Reality is shit, art is super!”

Jonathan and Brigitte Meese were interviewed at Galleri Bo Bjerggaard by Christian Lund, January 2014

Cover photograph by Jan Bauer

Filmed by Lea Hjort Mathiesen

Edited by Kamilla Bruus

Produced by Christian Lund

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, produced by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014.

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Olafur Eliasson

    Advice to the Young

    “Artists should have confidence in the fact that making a drawing is changing the world.” Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, here presents his strong and personal advice to young artists.

  • Yayoi Kusama

    Earth is a polka dot

    Interview with Japan’s legendary artist, who has been painting polka dots ever since she started as an artist. In this video she talks about one of her works, a light installation depicting her cosmic vision.

  • Olafur Eliasson

    A Riverbed Inside the Museum

    Like lava from a volcano, Olafur Eliasson’s fascinating installation ‘Riverbed’ runs through the Danish Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. The highly praised artist here shares his intriguing thoughts behind the installation.

  • Ian McKeever

    Mystery to the Viewer

    “I am trying to take the sense of speed out of the visual world of looking.” Interview with renowned British artist, Ian McKeever.

  • Wim Wenders

    Advice to the young

    “Do what nobody else can do except for you.” Such is the unflagging advice from German filmmaker Wim Wenders, who in this video gives us his take on how to become a successful artist.

  • William Kentridge

    How we make sense of the world

    "There is a desperation in al certainty. The category of political uncertainty, philosophical uncertainty, uncertainty of images is much closer to how the world is", says South African artist William Kentridge in this video presenting his work.

  • Chimamanda Adichie

    Beauty does not solve any problem

    I am drawn to the beauty of sentences, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie confesses in this interview. Nevertheless it is important to keep a distance to your characters.

  • Keith Tyson

    Art in a coffee cup

    ”To understand a coffee cup, you would have to understand the entire universe”. Meet British artist Keith Tyson, as he explains the interconnectedness of existence through a coffee cup.

  • Alaa al-Aswany

    Dictatorship is a Disease

    Why is dictatorship so hard to get rid of? Best-selling Egyptian novelist, Alaa al-Aswany, here presents us with surprising takes on a continuously hot topic.

  • David Hockney

    Photoshop is boring

    In this video David Hockney meditates on the concept of seeing. On depicting spring, on Picasso's owl that thrills us, on Photoshop and on why magazine images today are so dull - and on the similarities between seat belts and bondage.

  • Sarah Sze

    The meaning between things

    ”A sculpture is constantly growing and dying at the same time. It is a parallel process of construction and deconstruction.” Meet contemporary artist Sarah Sze in her New York studio.

  • Oh Land

    The dark beneath the bright

    "When I lost dance I felt like there was no gravity, and I might fly away and disappear." Meet the young singer and composer Oh Land in this interview about finding your way through life and staying true to yourself.