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The Chapman Family Collection comprises 34 wooden carvings, allegedly rare ethnographic objects which the Chapman family had amassed over 70 years from former colonial regions. However, the inauthenticity of the objects becomes clear as closer inspection reveals repeated references to the world’s most famous burger chain, McDonald’s. The work appears to comment on modernism’s exploitation of so-called ‘primitive’ art by associating it so strongly with McDonald’s, an icon of capitalism. But it also draws attention to the way in which some museums classify ethnographic artefacts, draining them of their sociological and religious function and re-presenting them as aesthetic objects.

October 2013