Over at Fin’s HQ, we’ve decided to mix it up a little with our blog entries. We know our Finsketeers click through for their daily dose of shoenanigans, with more than a sprinkling of Kardashian thrown in, but we’ve decided to make things a little more high-brow around here.
Introducing our newest contributor, Richard Dennen, who is finding time between gallavanting and writing historic features for The Sunday Times to write an occasional contribution for Fin’s. His Culture Corner will enrich all our lives with some much-needed intellectual fodder.
Over to Ricky…
“Isn’t that a napkin?” asked Emma Watson who had dressed red carpet for what was really a lecture in a library. And the answer was – well, yes. The napkin was in a glass cabinet. And we were at the British Museum. But what does one wear then for a dinner at the British Museum? Wearable art is having its moment but that’s complex if you want to look now not niche. So what was right, then, for the opening of the cross-dressing artist Grayson Perry’s exhibition ‘the Tomb of the Unknown Artist’? With this exhibition Grayson had installed his new work as flash surprises that popped up amongst historical pieces by anonymous craftsmen he’d picked from the two thousand years worth of museum archive to be found in the bowels of Bloomsbury. That’s one helluva a lot of choice. So that meant icons juxtaposed with his teddy bear and an Iron Age hand axe with a ‘Hello Kitty’ hand towel. Was it strangely poetic? Or was it enough to make Boadicea run howling back to Norfolk?
Why thousands of years worth of anonymity anyway? Grayson had an important post-Frieze point to make, he explained, complaining of the woes of the art market and how he was over the famous signature and how it had become so much more important than the work it was written on. Quite. “I call it Picasso’s Napkin Syndrome,” he cried querulously, “is taste really going to be decided by a bunch of oligarchs?”
Oligarchs be damned. More importantly he’d succeeded successfully in aceing statement dressing in something that looked like it could have been pulled off the back of Quentin Crisp’s Elizabeth 1 in ‘Orlando.’ But it wasn’t. This gown of black and white block colour with cowl-hood dripping with pearls was his new ‘Ejaculation Dress.’ “I teach a course at St Martins called ‘Making a Dress for Grayson Perry.’ It’s very useful.