Artefacts

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The Independent Culture
STRANGE Venues No 1: As the V&A's show of Russian art continues to draw the crowds, a young British artist has set up an installation in one of St Petersburg's palaces. Room 21, which opens this week (details 0850 661044), focuses on the desk from which Lenin ran the 1917 government. On the desktop, artist Michael Rundell has placed that archetypical Seventies executive toy, a Newton's Cradle - four balls in a frame - which he sees as a metaphor for Lenin's Communism. 'His basic idea was pure. But, put through the human structure necessary for Communist government, it became distorted.' To get his message over, Rundell has also filled an adjoining room with a huge Newton's Cradle, hung with industrial motors instead of balls. 'It took a long time to make, but it just doesn't work.' Geddit?

STRANGE Venues No 2: The top floor of Centrepoint, London WC1, which, until 7 Nov, plays host to work by new and established artists. 'High art'?

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