Published  02/08/2007

Blessed Are the Meek

Jake and Dinos Chapman have pulled it off again, in the forecourt of the Royal Academy (too large to go inside). Their mega-sculpture, dwarfing most Henry Moores even, is entitled 'The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights'. In fact it is a group of three giant metal dinosaurs, one rising to over 8 metres long and 4.7 metres high. The brothers have explored over the past two years the reality of dinosaurs, in an endeavour to study 'the relationship between art and extinction'. (This prompts a curious link with the Etruscans, see above.) Extinction leaves little actual art behind, and is usually due to global or astral phenomena. But the force of presence of the past history and cultures that have disappeared subsequently then stands to haunt succeeding civilisations. The Chapmans' message now is surely related to the global scramble for the possession of Mineral Rights. Nothing could be more central to the global economy, to the reduction of global warming, even to the eclipse of smaller Middle Eastern nations, than the lure of black gold. The Chapman sculpture(s) could well have touched a sore nerve, and end up in the Natural History Museum in a dark corner. Croesus, come and help.

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