To Berlin for the famous Gallery Weekend! And on the way there I hope to be using the first item on this week’s wish-list, the German-made TrekStor i.Beat Organix Gold MP3 player. I’ll use the time on my Ryanair flight planning whether to see the endgame of painting as envisioned by David Ostrowski at Peres Projects or Supportico Lopez’s show of the dear-departed Julian Beck, the legendary founder of the The Living Theatre. And then I’ll do the right thing and send my TrekStor to the billionaire art dealer Helly Nahmad who has just been sentenced to prison for a year and a day by a New York court.
In Berlin I shall be wearing the second item of this wish-list - a pair of Gap slouch wide-wale cords that are reduced to £10.99 at the moment on their website. This is to celebrate Frieze New York’s ground-breaking partnership with Gap which was announced earlier this week. The fair has even got special spaces where you can try Gap clothing on, although this might be a significant challenge for fair co-founder Matthew Slotover, who was widely believed to be ‘the man from Next’ in in the 1990s.
'They fuck you up, your mum and dad,' wrote Philip Larkin in his poem ‘This Be the Verse’. So third on my wish-list are two copies of Larkin’s ‘Collected Poems’, one to read on my flight back to Stansted Airport and one to send to the federal prison where Helly’s heading to for operating an illegal gambling ring. Earlier in court proceedings Helly blamed his father teaching him how to gamble as an impressionable teenager. The Larkin book will come in handy for whiling away the time in the nick. Incidentally the judge rejected Helly’s plea that he be spared jail and instead teach underprivileged kids from the Bronx about art.
They say that going to prison sorts out your real friends from the more superficiaI sort. So I recommend to any new prisoner the fourth item on my wish-list, Facebook’s new app ‘Nearby Friends’ which allows you to stalk your friends. I’ll be using it en route to seeing Céline Condorelli’s new show at the Chisenhale Gallery which is about the artist’s 'ongoing engagement with friendship as a condition of working together'. This is nice because groovy London spaces Chisenhale, Studio Voltaire and The Showroom have launched a collaboration entitled 'How to work together' that is in no way about sharing the photocopier and kettle because government funding has been slashed.
And sticking with East London my final item on this wish-list is a hoppy bottle of East Kent Goldings ale in celebration of the £40,000 prize win for artist collective Myvillages who have won the Create Art Award 2014 in order to get Londoners to work the hop fields in Kent later this year. What do you mean you’ve never heard of this prize? Create is something to do with socially engaged projects and spending public money – so expect our man Helly to be a front-runner next year. Cheers!
1 May 2014