Sunday, December 07, 2008

Malcolm McLaren returns to art

It's been quite a while since anyone's taken Malcolm McClaren seriously - he's tried TV (that frightening Oxford Street thing that Channel 4 underwrote); he's tried radio (that Radio 2 thing which the BBC funded) and at every turn people seem to fail to recognise that he's, you know, visionary or whatever.

So he's now turned up pitching video art in New York:

Mr. McLaren allowed that since he had attended several art schools (and been thrown out of most of them), he was coming full circle. He also copped to being an opportunist. “I’m trying to meet the zeitgeist,” he said, “and art is the hottest cultural form around.”

Well, apart from knitting little dogs out of spaghetti, perhaps.

It would be cruel to suggest that by "the hottest cultural form" Malcolm actually means that he reckons its the cultural form where you can get away with the lamest work and still be shrouded in applause.

If that was what he thought, he was wrong:
Instead they got amateur actors anticipating sex and looking morose after sex, men in Italian suits and women in underwear wearing masks, a woman with large breasts bobbing in a pool. Each snippet was repeated, in slow motion, accompanied by mash-ups of things like William S. Burroughs talking about drugs, incongruous spirituals, and the Captain and Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together.” The kinkiest aspect was the hotel guests who wandered into the adjoining bar in white hooded waffle robes and nothing else.

The video lasted 86 minutes. Some audience members lasted less.

Ms. Rabinowitz, who had produced the evening, admitted, “Some are boring ... they are all so different.”

There were those, naturally, who came up to Malcolm afterwards and told him how brilliant it all was. Sadly, that's probably all it's going to take to encourage him.


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