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

Posted by

Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s