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Saturday, 23 September, 2000, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
Shock art hits London
Pope art
Controversial image of The Pope
An contemporary art exhibition has opened in London featuring controversial works including a sexually explicit video and a wax model of Pope John Paul struck by a meteorite.

Entitled Apocalypse: Beauty and horror in contemporary art, the exhibition is aiming to shock both media and public alike.

Organisers are hoping it will have the same impact as its hugely successful predecessor, Sensation, which was seen by 300,000 people three years ago.

The Undesirables by Tim Noble and Sue Webster
A load of rubbish? The Undesirables by Tim Noble and Sue Webster
The works by young British artists included pickled animals from Damien Hirst, elephant dung paintings and a canvas of a demonised convicted childkiller, made with hand prints of children.

Now, the son of Sensation, an exhibition of work from 13 artists from around the world, is set to cause similar ripples.

Genocide and beauty

The Apocalypse show sets out to be a secular interpretation of the biblical story of St John the Divine.

Balloon Dog by artist Jeff Koons
No substance? Balloon Dog by artist Jeff Koons
It contains elements ranging from the horrors of genocide to the beauties of Utopia.

Among the most controversial of the exhibits is a wax work model of the Pope struck by a meteor, a sexually explicit video and a whole room full of glass cases in which 9,000 toy Nazi soldiers molest one another in gory and bloody detail against a reconstructed Holocaust landscape.

This soldiers work is the latest from the bad boys of British art, Jake and Dinos Chapman, and is thought to have been the inspiration for the show's theme.

There is much that is also beautiful in the show, from a Japanese meditation temple to almost translucent paintings from a Belgian artist.

Despite the international range, it is likely that the domination of British artists on the contemporary visual arts scene is set to continue.

See also:

20 Sep 00 | UK
Art's shock treatment
23 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Sensation sparks New York storm
19 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Monet show leaves big impression
20 Oct 99 | UK
The Turner Prize draw
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