Lot 52: Jake & Dinos Chapman (B. 1966 & B. 1962)
February 8, 2001
London, United Kingdom
Description: Cyber-Iconic Man mixed media 62.5 x 75 x 58.3in. (150 x 180 x 140cm.) Executed in 1996. EXHIBITION London, Institute of Contemporary Arts, 'Chapmanworld. Dinos and Jake Chapman', May-June 1996. This exhibition travelled to Graz, Grazer Kunstverein, and Berlin, Kunst-Werke, Institut fr Zeitgen”ssische Kunst und Theorie. NOTES "Perhaps the most frenetically psychotic sculpture to date by Jake and Dinos Chapman is their 'Cyber-Iconic Man', 1996, depicting the victim of a Manchurian torture called 'The Hundred Pieces', which Bataille discusses in his book 'The Tears of Eros'. While the subject of this spectacular violence is slowly torn apart by one hundred cuts in his flesh, opium is administered to the condemned man in an attempt to prolong the process of disproportion, thereby forcing him to become a spectator at his own torture. As 'Cyber-Iconic Man' hangs from the ceiling by his feet, his hyper-realistically rendered wounds are paradoxically pulled towards the ceiling in scatological inversion of high and low, where heaven and earth trade places in a heretical bastardisation of apostolic hierarchy. Blood seeps from his wounds (down to us), only to be caught in a reservoir and pumped back into this pathetic subject by a dialysis machine, and then begins its trek to heaven once again in an absurd prolongation of this torture through a technological opiate. In this spiralling abyss of divine ecstasy, religious eroticism and sacrificial horror, the Chapmans offer us a ground zero of sacred iconicity, moving outside of the confines of reasoned representation into a baroque world of profane illumination where we ourselves are subjected to a terroristic aesthetic opiate. Above the aesthetic mutilation, frenzied genetics and apocalyptic terror that infect the sculptures of the Chapmans' oeuvre, a faint if uneasy laughter can be heard drowning out the amplified din of dripping blood and dialysis machines. After the shock value has worn off and the phatic force of the more readily scatological elements has at least momentarily receded into the background, the viewer is entrapped by this laughter, in order to be subjected to a psycho-terroristic agenda which pierces the very integument of our being, effectively emptying out the liquefied contents of our egos in a hysterical expenditure without return. It is this laughter that is the object of their superheavyweight no-holds-barred all-in mud-wrestling league and constitutes the Chapmans' prescribed remedy for the tired of seeing." (D. Fogle, in: 'Chapmanworld', London 1996, unpaged.).