Chapman Brothers @ Serpentine, Sackler Gallery


The aptly named ‘Come and See’ exhibition hosted by the Chapman Brothers at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery is astounding, and quite frankly, everyone needs to ‘come and see’ for themselves.

The title of the exhibition comes from a film about the horror of the second world war, however, though the art may be gruesome and morbid, it comes across as fun. Despite mannequins dressed in KKK costumes and altered classical paintings by deceased artists, the show is full of giggling children and bemused visitors. This is because, while models and sculpture may be fool of blood and gore, there is a childlike element to all of the work. The brothers have piled up toy models of dismembered soldiers and placed a McDonalds sign on top. The nickname of the ‘enfants terribles’ captures the duo perfectly, the work is terrible, not in the way that it is particularly bad, but in a sense that anyone else would not get away with pushing the boundaries so far. ‘Enfants’, meaning children in french, also summarises the schoolboy humour which exudes throughout all of the brothers works.

Sculpture and images are plastered from wall to ceiling and spans most of the artists’ careers. It would be possible to spend hours in the exhibition without getting bored and I strongly suggest people to visit more than once. It is the horror story that you keep running back to instead of trying to escape.

The show should not be exciting. Images of Nazism alongside the KKK should not be appealing, yet the gallery is packed. Everyone who has the chance, should really Come and See.

Come and See is on display at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery until 9 February

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

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