Taken last night at the BAC. A room full of red lanterns and vaudeville activities. The audience wore long nosed masks, Eyes Wide Shut style. A man told me (in a Texan drawl and a bow tie, whispering in to my ear) that I would see a fire raging over the sea in the future, and that I would rise above it like a feather in the breeze. In another tent, a woman applied make-up and glitter. A french coquette fluttered about with feathers across her face, refusing her nipples. A Russian Nigerian (was his name Dimitri Yakubu? It should have been) extolled the spiritual virtues of DMT. As usual, I felt late to the partee.
Control was stark and beautiful. To think Ian Curtis would have been 50 this year. His dolorous songs still hum in my head from 25 years ago. Atonement was mildly anticlimactic - but then isn't anything by Ian McEwan always so? The Counterfeiters was a gem, almost as good as The Lives of Others, exploring the moral ambiguities of a jewish criminal masterminding a fake currency operation inside a concentration camp. See it if you can.
Jide Alakija was thoughtful, the people at Global Witness quietly determined. The Serpentine Summer Pavilion spiralled its way to the sky, with Mathew Barney's thick blocks of grease creating an astonishing encounter with materiality in the main Serpentine Gallery. Meanwhile, Doris Salcedo's crack (the Shibboleth) at Tate Modern seems a bit fraudulent to me. Should a huge gash created in the floor necessarily symbolise the divide of racism? Or is it simply that the huge space must regularly be filled, with matter, then with ideas that justify the intervention? How effectively will it provoke the thought in those that witness it that modernity's occluded other is racism?
As usual, London was full of surprises.
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