Chapman Brothers and Craigie Aitchinson at The Jerwood

Ed Boxall

The brilliant thing about the Chapman brothers show at The Jerwood at the moment is that Craigie Aitchison’s Crucifixion is there too.

In the Chapman brother’s amazing construction ‘The Sum of all Evil’ people are a mass of depersonalised maggots inflicting horrible suffering on each other.  In a kind of dark mirror to nice hippy ideas about ‘oneness’ this one mind is pure cruelty. In the context of modern day slavery, child abuse, terrorism and capitalism’s merciless extremes it’s an understandable vision of reality. The scale is breathtaking. It has literally thousands of incidents going on- and every incident is vile. I found it genuinly horrible and upsetting. It reminded me of how I felt seeing Francis Bacon’s ‘Figures at the base of Crucifixion’ paintings when I was a kid: it’s telling me something I really don’t want to hear.

Everything about it comes out at you and tries to…

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