The terrible melancholy of Autumn is only exacerbated by the news that Ulay is having to take his ex-partner, the magnificent Marina Abramović, to court. At first I assumed this was Ulay taking a stand against Marina’s co-direction of Givenchy’s recent runway show, which included llamas, Serbian folk singers and women climbing ladders. But in fact it’s something to do with Marina allegedly being mean to the poor chap and even worse, trying to write him out of art history. There’s only one thing for it and that’s to put on Marina’s Vinyl Factory and Serpentine Galleries’s collaboration limited edition vinyl, track two of which features random sounds happening in the empty Serpentine Gallery. It’s available in an edition of 100 from the Serpentine for £500.
Of course it would be far better if Marina and Ulay just made up and went back to milking goats in Sardinia to earn sausages and bread back in the day, a fact revealed in her heart-breaking interview with Bloomberg earlier this year. The interview also handily catalogues some of Marina’s early sales which might possibly have saved Ulay a few bob in lawyer’s fees had looked it up. The second item on this week’s wishlist is a book I meant to buy years ago, Daniel McLean’s The Trials of Art published back in 2006 that is available from Ridinghouse for £25.
Still, if there’s anything to lift my mood it would be a jolly Takashi Murakami. So I’m delighted that the vacuously-happy painting When I Close My Eyes, I See Shangri-La is just about to come up for sale at Christie’s, Hong Kong. Estimated between just over US$1.2 million to just over US$1.5 million, I know that it will certainly lift the mood at ArtReview’s offices, which at the moment is a sea of downbeat trainees dressed soberly in Stella McCartney black Bryce coats, ever since the new publisher decided his first move would be to turn off the radiators.
Another mood-lifter is the news that Okwui Enwezor’s Venice Biennale is finally slinking away. Described by Benjamin Genocchio on Artnet as ‘the most morose, joyless and ugly biennale in living memory', it is fair to say that it divided critics. Moments of fun were to be found in the national pavilions and of course in particular Sarah Lucas’s effort in the British Pavilion. So to celebrate that I will be making Energy Diaries the final item on this week’s wishlist, a film of a conversation between Sarah Lucas, Franz West and Andreas Reiter Raabe, featuring kooky musical interludes from Viennese electronic musician Philipp Quehenberger. The boxset DVD with a CD thrown in is a mere $60 from Other Criteria which has got to be a bargain given that Gregor Muir described it as 'In the top five talks of all time – in fact it’s number one.' And who would argue with the author of one of the finest books on art ever written? Although since Muir’s effusive review it’s possible that the Lucas-West-Austrian techno talk has slid down the list of all-time great talks, not least to Theaster Gates TED talk on how to revive a neighbourhood (that is available for just $60 cheaper than the Lucas-West effort), but hey, who wants to be a party-pooper?
Online exclusive published 19 November 2015