Vive Fantomas

Jonathan Meese

5 February — 9 March 2005

In May 2002, while Georges W. Bush was on official visit to Berlin, Jonathan Meese had a show at the Contemporary Fine Art gallery entitled Young americans.

Jonathan Meese also wrote the show’s introductory text :

the 1st and last american is EZ de LARGE, the american youth is ALEX de LARGE, whose parents, Caligula and Drusilla, being mother and father, founded the DYNASTY “ZARDOZ DE LARGE” with CONAN the hall fighter, with BROTHER TOECUTTER AND SISTER RICHARD WAGNER. NOTHING HAS EVER BEEN MORE American than this ARCH-FAMILY, from which was born the NEWEST TOTALEST AND RADICALEST CHILD “AMERICA” : BABY DE LARGE._ACTION SQUAW : ZARDOZ LOVES US AND SPEAKS : THE RADICALEST BEING THAT EVER walked this planet is our GOD : HEIL ARCHIZARDOZ = HALL TOTALDANCE DE LARGE

This text succintly captures the deeply ambiguous universe created by Jonathan Meese in his paintings, sculptures, installations and performances. His work is branded by a coded language filled with references to 1960s films and archaic symbols from diverse mythologies; it is teeming with archetypal characters; it is riddled with extreme formal violence This all makes it difficult to classify his work, since merely comparing it to a set of postures ,that blends expressionnism, personal mythology, post-modernism and actionism, does not bring one any closer to cracking the Meese case. […]

Excerpt from the text of Jean-Charles Vergne in Vive Fantomas / In extenso editions.