Remiss, remorse and remonstration

Well, the DLR has been remiss lately. And thinking of the DLR has led to panic stations on high alert, particularly when the DLR’s Facebook page has been adding fans at a far higher rate than it did when the DLR was actually publishing material. What does this tell us? People will eventually get around to liking everything — anything! — on Facebook? That 80% of life really is just showing up? That less is quite radically more?

Many things have happened in our e-absence. Frieze pitched their tent in New York and to all accounts it was a great success. Sales were mixed: rocky for some smaller galleries, stellar for the larger ones. Capitalism, eh? The rich get richer. A canvassing of word on the ground from the non-art crowd brought us this gem: ‘I didn’t see as much innovative art as I thought there would be. But I don’t like that innovative art anyway.’ Thus proving New Yorkers and Londoners are not only united by a common language (whatever they say), but use that same language to take the piss out of contemporary art.

Whatever this is, we’ve seen it before.

Tate has been chucking out cultural highlights like it’s no one’s business — an excellent Cara Tolmie performance during Electra’s latest instalment of the Her Noise project; Alighiero e Boetti; the Damian Hirst exhibition (ha! kidding). Annoyingly correlating again with the ridiculous proposition that recessions are good for the arts, the basely funded Tate curatorial team has produced a fantastic roster — Albo Tambellini, Yvonne Rainer, Rabih Mroué, Anthea Hamilton — for their Oil Tanks programme, a subterrenean celebration of performance. It also partly reflects Tate’s feeling that they had been ignoring performance — difficult to show in traditional exhibition spaces — and hands the Daily Mail a gem in rectifying this problem by putting performance in the basement.

Jeremy Deller has been tapped for Venice, but you knew that. But did you know he thinks Hogarth is the best British artist of all time? Well, if you listened to Radio 4 this lunchtime, you did. The rest of you can thank us now; incidentally the DLR finds itself obsessed with Deller’s new public sculpture — the giant Stonehenge bouncy castle — as it says everything about the Tories’ relation to history and culture: culture — one enormous fun park! Englandhood — great! Bring the kiddies! Engage! The elevation of dumbing down into an electable art! Deller, chapeau bas.

We defy you to say this is stupid.

Finally, something big, wild and woolly is happening at the ICA next weekend, coorganised with Lux. We are still wading through programme notes but will report back on what to see. To stave off remorse, you see, in a little bout of self-remonstration. Don’t, um, watch this page though, because more seems to happen when we don’t write about it.

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