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 Meese (b. 1970) is a German artist who works with paintings, sculptures, installations and performances. His works, which are often multi-media, include collages, drawings and writing. Meese's work is exhibited at prominent venues such as Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Saatchi Gallery in London and Kunsthalle Bielefeld. Moreover, he designs theatre sets and wrote as well as starred in the play 'De Frau: Dr. Poundaddylein - Dr. Ezodysseusszeusuzur' in 2007. Meese is based in Berlin and Hamburg.

For more about Jonathan Meese see:

Jonathan Meese was interviewed by Christian Lund in his studio in Berlin in February 2011.

Jonathan and Brigitte Meese were interviewed by Christian Lund at Galleri Bo Bjerggaard in Copenhagen in January 2014.

Cover photograph by: Jan Bauer
Camera: Lea Hjort Mathiesen
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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