Sunday, April 06, 2003

And I mean OUCH. Went to see Becks Futures at the ICA yesterday - sort of by accident as me and August D were actually only intending to attend the bar after a stroll through beautiful St James park in the sun - and found myself gawping in disbelief at David Sherry's amazingly and alarmingly painful piece of DIY prosthesis attachment. Like, whoah. How unnecessary was that little video piece? Contemporary British art just keeps going further and further up its own arse, to the point of it being so self-referential, the self is undetectable in all of it: there was nothing from the artist to explain why the hell he was doing it and why it meant so much to him that he had to do it, no matter how much it hurt. It was just a video, in the end, a video of a bloke sitting in his hideous living room, jabbing a needle and thread into his own feet for this utterly pointless and upsetting art exhibition.

I couldn't watch past the bit where he describes, at the end of the stitching, that his legs had gone numb from the knees down but that he would nonetheless try to keep moving, then stood up and walked out of the room. Holy mother of god. He sewed bits of wood to his own feet. And I watched. And I felt terrible watching; I didn't want to yet had found myself in the context of an art gallery where you are there to look at things and so I looked and wanted to dive into the TV and shake the artist and beg him to stop such nonsense. Whatever the point of the video was meant to be, it just couldn't have been worth his doing it, or my watching it. This was supposedly such an intensely personal exploration of... whatever, I really got nothing out of it as an audience member except nausea watching him walk on this freshly sewn on wood and listening to his yelps as the self-applied stitches pulled at his feet and I left feeling bloody ripped off. So to speak.

I can't wait for the super-ironic video installation showpieces of next year's exhibition: "Web-cam up my Colon: I am a Piece of Shit (ha-de-ha-ha)"

Still, to prove that nothing can affect my appetite - nothing! absolutely nothing! I went out for a curry after seeing the Bodyworlds exhibtion! - August D treated me to a lovely supper in the bar after which we walked through the park again and I went home to my sofa and a completely unexpected and very, very exciting re-run of all the latest series of 24 up til the latest episode. Phew. That was an epic TV watching session but worth it. Oh yes.

More tonight! Must dash! I'll be back after the commercial break...

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