November 2nd, 2004


Belles and Bikes

I've not gone on about celebrity for a while. Let's hope I can flush it out quickly.

I read last week that the artist Sam Taylor-Wood had been in Georgia. Oh no! The last thing I need is for Tbilisi to become the new Shoreditch, although the locals might appreciate the cash. Fortunately, although the interviewer didn't clarify which she was referring to, I was able to establish subsequently that it was The South.

I went to a retrospective exhibition of her work a couple of years ago at the Hayward. It was a date of sorts, one that neither of us were too impressed by, but we had a sense of solidarity in our reactions to the photographs and whatnot.

It's very easy to accuse her current White Cube show of this self-same obsession with celebrity. I suppose that she is just reflecting the nature of her coterie. After all, these people are probably all on her mobile phone. Nevertheless, it just feels so lacking in imagination. Hmm, pictures of famous men crying. Are these tears real? What is authentic in art? Yawn. Next...

The actor Ewan McGregor and Martin Boorman [I think you mean Charley - Ed.], son of the director John, recently went on a motorbike odyssey across the world to New York - the Long Way Round [very over-complicated design on that - eurrghh]. They've got the money and the time, so why not? Indeed, but why couldn't it just be a private memory between the two of them? The book is published, the magazine articles written, the tv show is in the can, the serialisation broadcast. When they were planning the trip were they thinking about the options already?

As it goes, the serialisation is entertaining enough and Ewan's got a lovely reading voice, but I can't help but wonder why. Well, I suppose it beats living your private life through the media.