Jake Chapman vs. journo Carole Cadwalladr: Battling it out in the mosh pit (2009)

We’ve never seen an artist and journo go at it like this...

ADC staff
Art Design Publicity at ADC | 3 August 2009 | Powered by Division of the mind by Front Line Assembly when writing this article.

Here we applaud two upstanding members of the London art and media communities, artist Jake Chapman and journalist Carole Cadwalladr.

If you by chance are unfamiliar with their media coverage, we’ve highlighted their work before in ADP with Jake pretending to be a Russian artist and journo Carole daringly stepping through customs in Dubai to report on the dark side.

However nothing will prepare readers for their performance below.

Carole’s articles and Jake’s email replies show a behind the scenes layer usually missing in today’s art/design discourse. Where are all of the squabbles, struggles, drama and occasional slam-dancing that we all know about, and hear about? Where is more of the real world social context?

Journo Carole Cadwalladr with an underlying Plasmatics approach

Her article published in The Observer, 8 October 2006.

Meet the real brothers grim

Or what happened when an unsuspecting Carole Cadwalladr paid a (brief) visit to the studio of Jake and Dinos Chapman...

It is a privilege to watch a leading British artist at work, although it’s hard now to pick the highlight of my five minutes in the Chapman brothers’ studio. Was it the moment that Jake Chapman told me I made him feel sick? Was it the moment when he said he was bored by me and my questions? Or was it when he frogmarched to the door, held it open and told me: ’Get out, just get the fuck out!’ and ejected me into the pouring rain?

Read: "Meet the real brothers grim" by Carole Cadwalladr.

In a following article, Carole—and her journo power—go off on beloved art-publicity mega-star Paul McCarthy. She then quickly sets her sights back on Jake. This all can be seen in an article under the sub-heading "Look, there goes a runaway installation..." (Scroll down for quick viewing.)

Jake Chapman’s email reply, Nine Inch Nails-style

Read Jake’s response to these articles, which he graciously sent via his media relations representative, to share with ADP readers...

Drear Ms Cadwalladr(sic),
I must admit that I failed to notice, until prompted
by my distraught mother, that you really got me good
’n’ proper in the Observer, Sunday 17 august - ’look
up ’dog’ and ’turd’,’ you said, ’and you’ll find Jake
Chapman’. I did look it up, silly me! Stitched up like
a kipper!

You even saw fit to transcend the personal in favour
of the genital - and so now I’m officially a
’Narcissistic phallus!’

Latin is it? I bet it is! Clever girl.

I’d naturally plummet for vagina dentata as a
symmetrical riposte, but your wit is so hopelessly
toothless I’m left feeling lightly gummed... oh dear,
the associations are beginning to make me quite
queasy, kippers, your dentured xxxxxx, frumpy laura
ashley blouses reeking of stale mothballs... i can
feel real self-harm coming on - best go and feast my
eyes on my really pretty but conveniently mindless
friends that seem to stick so in your arid craw....
Carole, I was really under the impression that you’d
ejaculated your little public power fit to satisfactory
conclusion the last time you winged about
our lamentable interaction, but no, you’re not yet
ready to move on. So you’ll be happy to know that I
too encourage petty vendettas and cultivate poison pen
pals to the point of pathological fanaticism. So
welcome on board and lets see where this magical
mystery tour will take us!

Oh! I can’t quite compete with the Observer’s big-wig
distribution figures but you’ll be amazed how many
people this little chit-chat will find its way to.

love and kisses.


Another forwarded email reprint followed, sent by Jake Chapman (via his press representative)

Dear unobservant dullards,
I just had the pleasure of reading the quaint offering by gwendalin silverspoongob or Carole Cadwalladr or xxxxx xxxx or whatever the fuck her name is - you’ll know you employ the twit. I must tell you I nearly pissed my knickers xxxxxxx-well laughing at the sheer arrogance in documenting such a forgettable meeting - is your paper really pre-disposed to allowing ernest-but-dull journalists a lickle revenge when they meet nastywasty artists who tweat them with utter contempt because they admitted they hadn’t pwepared their interview with ANY REASEARCH AT ALL? (and fail to quote that bit verbatim...
eh?) ....then preface our conversation with an ammonia-reeking statement that she hate’s art jargon? Would you send a science reporter to interview a quantum theorist and expect them to blurt out their die-hard affinity to classical dynamics? No, I hope not. You may grace your readers with the meek tones of plum-mouthed middle englanders, but don’t send them round to my studio I’ll make fucking mince meat out of them, ha ha ha.
Bye for now, jake (chapman). x x x
Ps. Jargon-free art speak is still jargon... ok?

[Reprinted as sent. To see the censored words, if you like, click here.]