Saturday, September 25, 2010

Art Hate

Somewhat like Madonna (but infinitely less annoyingly), Billy Childish is a re-inventor-of-self. He was in the bands Milkshakes and Thee Headcoats, he was the chief Stuckist, and then he was him for a while. Now he is the conductor of the Art Hate campaign, and he has the extreme moustache to prove it!
He came twice to talk to the songwriting students at the University of the West, most of whom responded to him with a combination of one-upmanship and arse-licking (something I am frequently guilty of myself actually, but not this time). They could not cope with him saying "I am going to show you how to play guitar badly really well", and then going on to do just that.
I had been hoping to go to the private view of this exhibition with my Champagne Friend on Tuesday but was too conked out to make it. After about 14 hours sleep last night I dragged the bones down to Cork Street this avo as I felt I had to see it, and it closes this evening.
After walking through Burlington Arcade, where exceedingly rich people saunter exceedingly slowly (they can, after all, buy as much time as they like with their millions), the Gallery at 28 Cork Street was a welcome relief.
I absolutely loved the big posters which had a real Russian Revolutionary feel combined with a bit of 1950s England circa 10 Rillington Place. My fave was this big horsy that looked far to silly to trample on the faces of the artisticly weak, but maybe that's just my own failed anthropomorphism.
There were also some fascinating teeny little sculptures, all with a direct lineage back to Marcel Duchamp via punk and the army-surplus version of the First World War. This is the version of Britain so much loved by the League of Gentlemen, engendering the sort of horrible curiosity you feel when following up a bad smell.
I bought a vinyl single which I won't be able to play until I've saved up for a jukebox, but the Gallery Assistant told me it was Pretty Vacant sung by Billy and KLF Cauty and blank on the other side, although I'm sure it's not because that's not what it says on the cover. I told him about Paul Jones' easy-listening versions of Pretty Vacant and Sheena is a Punk Rocker, all lush strings'n'things and it turned out that he was a big Manfred Man fan!
There is a book associated with the exhibition, at 35 sheets too expensive for me. But I think some of the artefacts are exhibited in their place in the East End. It's definitely worth going and following up this link to see what it's all about
Another member of the Art Hate collective is Jamie Reid, who invented what you could call Blackmail Typescript, which was used to effectively by the Sex Pistols.
He used to come to Brighton a bit years ago, and was once Sophie Richnmond's parner (she used to work with the Sex Pistols a lot at the beginning). Their children were naughty and I came into my room to find they had wedged one of my giant plastic pigeons through the door of the budgie cage, much to the consternation of the budgie, who didn't know whether to laugh or cry ( I think) at the sight of his huge, shining and immobile pigeon visitor.

1 comment:

Emerald said...

gah - wish I hadn't missed it... looks v interesting?!