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The University of Southampton
Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media

Jake Chapman in Conversation with Jonathan Harris

Published: 14 June 2012
Jake and Dinos Chapman

Come along to hear Jake discuss the sculpture, its history, meaning, pleasures and pains with Jonathan Harris, editor of Inside the Deathdrive: Excess and Apocalypse in the World of the Chapman Brothers (Liverpool University Press, 2010).

Jake Chapman's sculpture SEX (cardboard and poster paint, 2009) has been on display in The Winchester Gallery for several weeks now, enabling students, staff and visitors to get up close to a work that some have found, by turns, disconcerting or strangely whimsical.

More information about the sculpture

Sex was previously exhibited in 2009’s ‘Shitrospective’ at Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin. The works produced for this show were ‘retrospective models’, cardboard and poster paint miniatures of well-known Chapman brothers’ artworks originally produced as full-scale pieces crafted from more precious materials, sans maquettes. Sex traces the Chapmans’ continuing engagement with Goya’s Disasters of War series. Great Deeds Against the Dead in 1994 was the Chapman Brothers’ first reworking of Plate 39 from Goya’s series of etchings. Reproduced as a life-sized sculpture using modified nylon mannequins, this work featured in the Royal Academy’s divisive 1997 exhibition ‘Sensation’. 2001 marked another sensational turn in the Chapman’s on-going fascination with Goya’s series, when, obtaining a 20th-century print-run of the 19th-century etchings, the Chapmans painted emendations onto the prints. These critical additions thematically included the motif of clown heads. In 2003, Jake and Dinos Chapman were nominated for the Turner Prize. The accompanying exhibition at Tate Britain entitled Injury to Insult to Injury, included the appropriated Goya ‘collaborations’. Also on display were two new painted bronze sculptures: Sex (2003) and Death (2003). These works have subsequently been included in Tate Liverpool’s Chapman retrospective ‘Bad Art for Bad People’ in 2007.

In the 2003 version of Sex, the Chapmans returned to Plate 39 of the Disasters of War. This time, however, the mannequins were replaced by horrifically decomposing clownish bodies offered in painted bronze. Together with Death (a painted bronze rendering of blow-up dolls posed in flagrante delicto), Sex constitutes a sculptural diptych. It is this work which Sex of 2009 reimagines in seemingly naïve form. The initial impression of child-like construction belies the work’s actual structural complexity, both in terms of its physical make-up and conceptual underpinnings, as well as its nuanced connections to the Chapmans’ overall intellectual project.

With irreverently playful interrogations of war and representation, art and its histories, and their interconnections, the Chapmans often negotiate darkly humorous territories challenging audience expectations. It is this spirit of provocative enquiry that aligns Professor Chapman with The Winchester Centre, which is critically concerned with art, design and media practices of thinking, making and representation.

The sculpture was installed at the Winchester Gallery on Wednesday 7 March 2012, alongside WSA postgraduate students’ Interim Shows, and continues to be displayed alongside students’ work for the end of year degree shows. Sex (2009) will now be discussed in detail by Professor Jake Chapman and Professor Jonathan Harris on 14 June 2012 between 3pm – 4pm.

For more information about WSA and Winchester Gallery, Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media, and Professor Jake Chapman’s work at the school, please email Dr August Jordan Davis on or Stefanie Van de Peer on or visit: and or visit the Gallery.

Venue and Time

The Winchester Gallery
Winchester School of Art
Park Avenue
Hampshire SO23 8DL

14 June 2012, between 3pm – 4pm

Jake Chapman
Jake Chapman
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