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04 Jun 2010

Die Dada Die: Jake & Dinos Chapman in Cabaret Voltaire

© Jake & Dinos Chapman, 2010

Jake & Dinos Chapman: Die Dada Die
Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich


10th June – 22nd August 2010
Press Conference:
Thursday, 10th June at 11am
Private View & Public Talk:
Thursday, 10th June at 6pm - 8pm
Opening hours:
Tuesday - Sunday 12:30pm - 6:30pm

Adrian Notz
+41 43 268 57 20

Cabaret Voltaire
Spiegelgasse 1
CH-8001 Zürich

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Cabaret Voltaire is pleased to announce the opening of the solo exhibition Die Dada Die by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman this June, in collaboration with Triumph Gallery (Moscow) and RS&A Ltd (London).

In this, the artists first solo show in Switzerland, Jake and Dinos Chapman take on the legacy of Dada head on and what better place to do this than in the birthplace of Dada itself, the world famous Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland, centre of the Dadaist universe and home to the likes of Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara.

Exhibiting the latest incarnation of their bloodcurdling work, the Chapman Brothers present a parasitic rectification of Breughel the Younger by taking one of the master's paintings, a School of Breughel crucifixion scene completed in 1506, and rendering their own unique contribution directly onto the surface of the old master. In addition to this act of artistic sacrilege the Brothers also tackle the de-Dadaisation of Dada in a series of Dada inspired collages.

These two distinct elements contained in the show Die Dada Die create a degree of conflict when seen together, that of the spontaneity of quickly produced collages verses a transcendent and intricate intervention onto the surface of a work of art with over 500 years of history imbued within its form. This radical and diverse approach to creativity refers back to one of the central tenants of Dada. Like the Dadaists before them who created ready-mades, collages and simultaneous poems, the Chapman Brothers level here the profane with the sublime.

In the Brothers' series of Dada inspired collages, the artists deconstruct the idea of Dada as a style and so in effect de-Dadaise Dada. After a research in the Dada archives of the Kunsthaus in Zurich, the artists came to the conclusion that Dada can never be rectified. The only thing that can be done today is to either illustrate Dada or de-Dadaise it, meaning that all the elements contained in the Dada ideal would have to be put back together again. Hence the Brothers have left Dada with a headache. They have created a tilt situation that leads towards the death of Dada through an act of hyper-affirmation that extinguishes both our Dadaist past and Dadaist present. In effect the Brothers fight fire with fire.

The sublime rectification of an original Brueghel presents another set of aesthetic and cultural problems. A work that speaks to the legacy of an iconoclastic Dadaist past, the Chapman Brothers parasitic approach to making art, such as their interventions with Goya, Hogarth and more recently the watercolours of Adolf Hitler, represents a new artistic form of collaboration, both artistic and physical. When painting on top of Hitler's watercolours the Chapman Brothers licked their brushes with delight thereby mixing their saliva with the saliva of Adolph himself. In the case of the Brueghel we are confronted with a similar degree of assimilation. For over a year the original painting remained in the studio before either brother would dare to touch it. By adding their touch to that of Brueghel the Younger, Jake and Dinos create a direct link to the past and not just a representation of it. In so doing they create a bridge between the past and the present that reconfigures our relationship to both.

Special Thanks to Triumph Gallery in Moscow and RS & A Ltd in London.
Wine for Openings, piece of art and symbolic gesture by Ivan Moudov.