First on Gallery Girl’s shopping list this week is a CD of Elton John’s 1983 seminal album ‘Too Low for Zero’ which contains the track ‘I’m Still Standing’. For yes, despite a fire ravaging its insides (I know the feeling) the Glasgow Art School still stands! The fire was apparently started by a rogue 16mm filmmaker dead set against Scottish Independence but was bravely beaten back by plucky fire-fighters lead by Robert the Bruce who was ably helped by passers-by who included Kenny Dalglish, the 1980s painting movement ‘The Glasgow Boys’, an inconsolable Muriel Grey and Alex Salmond.
South of the border meanwhile it’s been Russian Art Week here in the island’s capital and by far the most dynamic city (no deep fried Mars Bars for us!). To celebrate, Prince Charles compared Vlad Putin to Hitler. This is terribly unfair and ignores Mr Putin’s vital work de-regulating formerly nationalised industries to create the oligarchs who have made London the art-world hub that it is. To create reconciliation between these two titans of world politics, I’ll be sending Prince Charles and Mr Putin the second item on my wish-list - Arianna Huffington’s book ‘Thrive’ which is filled with wise insights like ‘We forget we’re mostly water till the rain falls’.
And the rain falls persistently on the English seaside, which is why I’ll be hoping for the third item on my wishlist, a Burberry Trafalgar umbrella, which I will take on the train down to the Whitstable Biennale that opened on Saturday 31 May. Mark Aerial Waller’s artist-as-curator bang on-trend thing at the Horsebridge Art Centre presents hoary hits of video art mixed in with post-internet goodies. The good denizens of Kent, who recently voted en masse for Nigel Farage’s ‘oh no, we’re no racists party' UKIP, are bound to set fire to the place when they realise there are shades of ‘continental theory’ about the show.
Once they do and start rioting, all us liberal art folk will have to hot-foot it to City Airport and get out for another biennial that’s just started – the Berlin Biennale which in part takes place at the Museum Dahlem, the city’s ethnographic museum for non-European bits and bobs. Gallery Girl will be taking the fourth item on her wishlist, a simple hammer from B&Q to liberate the looted Benin artefacts stuffed in the museum’s vaults whilst pretending to be looking carefully at the Goshka Macuga installation.
Having liberated the items I have no desire whatsoever to return them to Africa. Instead, I’ll stuff as many as I can in the last items on this week’s wishlist, three Maison Martin Margiela detachable-pouch leather backpacks and slip over the border heading for Belgium, safe in the knowledge that I’ve secured the contents for my gallery’s stand at BRUNEAF (the Brussels Non-European Art Fair), which opens on 4th June. Only in Belgium and at such a fair could one hope to come across galleries with shamelessly politically incorrect names such ‘Classic Primitives’ and ‘Congo Gallery’. I must remember to send VIP cards to Nigel Farage and his jolly friends in Kent.
2 June 2014