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

  • Guido van der Werve

    Simplicity of the Sublime

    It was when he lived in hectic New York, that Dutch filmmaker, video artist and sports aficionado, Guido van der Werve, became acutely aware of his artistic need to seek out simplicity - and to be bored.

  • Paul Auster

    The Meanness of New York

    The iconic New York novelist, Paul Auster, comments on the much debated Eric Garner case, and why he doesn’t want to give his usual pep talk about his beloved New York.

  • Kiran Desai

    The World Arrived in Books

    Because she spent her childhood in an India, that had not yet opened its doors to the larger world, Indian novelist, Kiran Desai, had only her knowledge from books to rely on, before she later became an immigrant.

  • Robert Longo

    I am an Image Thief

    Does copying other prominent artists such as Jackson Pollock really make you an artist? Find out in our interview with American painter Robert Longo, who calls himself an image thief.

  • Kenneth Goldsmith

    Assume No Readership

    This video presents a poet, who believes in uncreative writing and reads traffic reports to Barack Obama in the White House, calling it poetry. Meet Kenneth Goldsmith, who claims that “copyright doesn’t exist.”

  • Phyllida Barlow

    An age of fallen monuments

    "All our lives are about constantly loosing. The moment is always disappearing, like sand between our fingers. So what is it, we are actually left with", asks British sculptor Phyllida Barlow.

  • Sebastian Diaz Morales

    Make your enemy your friend

    In dept portrait of Argentinian video artist Sebastian Diaz Morales who grew up in wild Patagonia where the wind blows 150 km/h. It was the experience of a stranded whale which made Diaz Morales aware of the language of video art.

  • Kerry James Marshall

    Paint it black

    Imagine being seen for who you really are, a central figure in narration. In this powerful interview American artist Kerry James Marshall talks about how he explores the presence and absence of the black figure in art history.

  • Marina Abramović

    How to Drink a Glass of Water

    ”Feel how the water goes into your mouth, goes into your body, into your cells.” Meet performance icon Marina Abramović in this exclusive video where she teaches you how to turn an everyday moment into an extraordinary experience.

  • Siri Hustvedt

    Art is a Memory

    “Every painting is always two paintings: The one you see, and the one you remember.” Interview with the renowned writer Siri Hustvedt on her strong personal relationship with art and on how she sees image and text as very different experiences.

  • Nicole Krauss

    We create who we are

    Interview with Nicole Krauss about her love for writing and literature in general. The New York Times declared Krauss as one of America's most important contemporary novelists.

  • Morten Søkilde

    Miniature moments of being

    We visit the Danish poet, writer and artist Morten Søkilde in his Copenhagen studio, where he talks about his fascination with the world of miniatures: "There is a figure so small that he can split a dust particle with his forehead."