The festival

We were at the festival, and I was carrying a blanket and picnic things around, looking for a suitable place to sit. It was really crowded though, so I couldn’t find anywhere. I put everything down and looked towards the stage. Michael Jackson was due to perform soon – I’d heard he’d asked the audience which of his songs they’d like to hear. While I was thinking about his songs I noticed that my feet were feeling wet, and as I looked across the field I saw that people were running away from a sheet of water, moving fast across the grass – a flood, pouring into the field from the nearby reservoir. I started to run too.

Soon I was on the street and, wanting to get further away, I got on a bus. I sat beside a couple of girls, and I gathered from their conversation that they lived with Iggy Pop. I was just thinking about why they’d be living with him when one of them spoke to me – why don’t you find out, she said, come on over and stay with us: he won’t mind. So I got off at their stop and went with them.

Iggy’s house was in an ordinary suburban street: inside it had a pleasantly bohemian feel – bohemian 1970’s I would say. The girls went upstairs to change out of their school uniforms. I went over to the window and looked out at the back garden. Iggy was out in the garden entertaining his dog by throwing a golf club that the dog ran to collect: they both seemed to be enjoying themselves. I noticed the sky was an incredibly dark grey, dense and oppressive. Looking past the end of the garden I could see, on the horizon, a long way off – but also, seemingly, very close – a series of funnels, or chimneys, of the kind you get at power stations: the whole horizon was taken up by them, and they were pumping out this grey smoke that became the sky. One of the girls called out – she said they were ready and I should come upstairs.

Limited edition

sol lewitt 3

Shredded Frieze magazine on Iceland pizza and cheesecake packaging, 65 cm x 55cm x 10cm.

It has come to my attention that the posts on this blog can be confusing/puzzling (thanks Noreen) – what are they?  Well, they are (generally) photos of my artwork.  The above piece is part of an ongoing series of parodies of the drawings of Sol Lewitt (at least they’re based on his drawings (for which he, helpfully, provides instructions) though perhaps he isn’t the only target of the parody here): drawings like this one – sol-lewitt-wall-drawing-85

My versions of Lewitt are less pure.

The process – in the case of my piece – involves shredding pages from Frieze magazine (a high-end art magazine) then sticking the shredded bits – in patterns similar to the Lewitt one – onto Iceland food products packaging, allowing the packaging to dictate (to some extent) the nature/direction of the patterns.  I suppose the real target of these pieces is Frieze magazine – after all, some damage is done to the magazine, especially the pages of advertisements, of which there are many (more than actual art writing).  On the one hand I’m pointing to the obvious fact that Art, as a domain, is as commodified as everything else in this society; on the other hand the foregrounding of the semantic association between Frieze and Iceland is given some (comic? sardonic?)tension – I think – through the different levels of cultural capital associated with the two – high art (marketing), low supermarket.

And in terms of how the above activity plays out on the level of the art market I’m at, the following photo shows one of the Lewitt pieces – entitled Best Before 7 Sept (because the exhibition – for one night only – ended on the 6th) – at Eastside Projects in Digbeth (Birmingham UK): the piece – being studiously ignored – is indicated by the arrow carefully drawn on the photo below.extra special summer camp