ART / Artefacts

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The Independent Culture
Art imitates life. From the fictional diary of Damien Hirst in the current issue of Private Eye: 'I smoke cigarettes - ten or twenty a day. Sometimes even over twenty - twenty-one or twenty-two. And then I stub them out in ashtrays. That's the kind of guy I am. Dangerous. Unconventional. Obsessive. Call me a nutter. Call me a rebel. But first of all call me an artist.'

Compare this piece of imaginative cynicism to Colin Lowe and Paul Noble's very real press release for their imminent exhibition at London's City Racing: 'I'm feeling OK. I've just had a cigarette so I feel a bit high and now I'm eating an orange because I think I need the vitamins after a few days of drinking . . . If you watch closely I'll disappear up my own arse with this stuff right in front of your eyes 'cause 'that's magic.' '

What's in a name? From 20 March, five artists will be showing their work in a gallery space at 5 Topham Street under the title 'The Lisson Gallery'. Confused? You should be. The exhibition has no connection whatsoever with the prestigious gallery of the same name in Lisson Street, NW1, showcase for such names as Richard Wentworth and Anish Kapoor. Staff insist: 'It's absolutely nothing to do with us.' So why use the name? Nosepaint / Beaconsfield productions, the organisation behind the show, which includes a work using guinea-pigs described as 'a study of potential misfortune', explains its venture as: 'work about the subject 'the context of showing'. The title 'The Lisson Gallery' simultaneously denotes a short-circuiting of expectation and refers to the work published in advertisement form 'The Lisson gallery'.' Of course. That's as clear as mud. And, obviously, the artists understand the concept. One of them, David Mollin, can hardly contain his enthusiasm: 'I'm very happy to be showing at 'The Lisson Gallery' - to me it is a sign of my growing success within the art world.' Perhaps he should be told?