Suddenly I am all alone. My friends are either asleep, lulled by the Suffolk air and the bottles of 1994 Quinta do Noval Nacional we’ve steadily been working on these past hours. Or they’re upstairs, enjoying the bevy of hookers left over from September’s Viennafair that I’ve flown in especially for these 72-hour New Year bacchanals.
This witching hour is what I’ve been waiting for. I throw off my Rick Owens veil-front wool-and- angora-blend hat, a device that, along with my Stella McCartney Jodie wool-twill tuxedo jumpsuit, has allowed me to maintain my disguise as Marina Abramović for these past few hours. I whip out the slate Ouija board I’ve stashed under the table and we’re off: ArtReview’s predictions for 2013 are finally under way.
The editor has forgotten to put any accompanying instructions with the board. I rub it a couple of times, but nothing happens. I chop out a quick line and deliberately angle it over the first few numbers. Again, nothing. I roll the dice and yell: “Hear the drummer get wicked!” Not a peep of a hallucination.
I’m getting worried. Belgian Phil is known as a quick finisher; he’ll be done with the Austrians in a jiffy. Finally, I pop a couple of etizolam and ditch the Abramović getup for my trusty Mark Rothko-style chemise. To hedge my bets, I smear exposed areas of my body with lard and start chanting the lyrics of One Direction’s Live While We’re Young.
This works. Suddenly the room is filled with apparitions of artworld figures great and gone who want to provide ArtReview’s definitive predictions for 2013. Guillaume Apollinaire floats by yelling, “Gioni! Gioni!” before flying out the window. A lanky-haired figure shoots out the chimney: “I am the ghost of Kazimir Malevich. Last year was all about old art. Next year will all be about slightly middle-aged art.
Eric Fischl will roll.” Louise Bourgeois appears in a piece of wall damp, nodding vigorously in agreement, before opining: “Sarah Lucas is my spiritual daughter. Hear me now!”
Johannes Itten strides into the room and sets down his papers neatly. “A new section at a major fair will be launched,” he intones in hushed tones. “Entitled ‘Flippers’, it will feature Urs Fischer on every wall.” Clem Greenberg interjects: “I see Frieze taking over another island with minimal transport links. I foretell Tasmania!”
Alfred H. Barr floats in through a hole where a wall once was. “Post-hurricane, New York’s artworld will turn into a caring, sharing place where Matthew Higgs turns up and does impromptu DIY in your gallery basement instead of DJ-ing.” Everyone smiles at this happy thought. The harmonious vision is ruptured by a self-flagellating Frenchman who starts to do repellent things to Barr’s ass. I recognise the genius that is Georges Bataille, as he pronounces that “London will become the plaything of the filthy rich. Cork Street is over. Shoreditch is over. Fitzrovia makes me feel dirrrty like an Eddie Peake installation.”
Bataille has a tremendous orgasm, coming like a horse before fading into thin air. It’s unsettling stuff, and appropriate when Jacques Lacan pipes up: “Following the success of Hirst’s show, the Qataris will fund a huge Tate retrospective of Mat Collishaw before firing all their art advisers and purchasing West Bromwich Albion football club instead.” I’m making a mental note to go big on Collishaw when Frida Kahlo sweeps by, holding her innards aloft for all to see: “Political art is back! Middle-aged artists sporting handcuffs and a big smile will make heartfelt YouTube videos about political repression which feature legendary ballet dancers seemingly performing sex acts on them!”
“The political is the personal!” yell Jo Spence, Jacques Derrida and an oddly misplaced Francis Bacon. At this war cry, all the ghosts of modernist heroes and heroines nod reverentially before joining hands and spinning upwards into the foggy gloom where the ceiling used to be. “But when you smile at the ground/It ain’t hard to tell,” they sing down at me. “You don’t know/Oh oh/You don’t know you’re beautiful/Oh, oh/ Anish, that’s what makes you beautiful!” And with that, I look down and realise I’m handcuffed to Bob and Roberta Smith, wearing a bright pink shirt, snazzy shades and no underwear. Happy New Year!