The Diary: Saatchi's 'tell all' book; tweets from Tehran; Smockshop at Sprüth Magers Gallery; Indy man on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth; Hoare short-changed over prize money
Friday 03 July 2009
Man of mystery
The famously taciturn Charles Saatchi has not only shed numerous pounds (on what is believed to be an eggs-only diet) but has now written a "tell all" book, called 'My Name Is Charles Saatchi and I Am an Artoholic', which will reveal the mysteries of the man who has famously been too shy to talk about himself and the secrets of his enormous art collection. Although Saatchi has still refused to be interviewed in this new book, publishers promise, "You will be able to read his brutally frank responses to a battery of questions put to him by leading journalists and critics as well as members of the public", with such searing inquisitions as "What is the most honest thing you can say about yourself?" and "Do you think you have messed up anyone's life by flogging off all their work?" For a man who refuses to turn up to his own openings at his King's Road gallery, this book could be the closest we get to understanding how he has managed to become one of Britain's biggest collectors. The book is published in September.
Tweets to woo
Twitter, the online messaging site better known for following the minutiae of celebrity life, this week grappled with political tensions in Iran. In a last-minute change of programme at the Royal Court, the theatre featured a 10-minute performance of "From the Tweets of Tehran", part of a series of performances on the subject of freedom of expression, created by Ramin Gray. The show was based around Twitter feeds related to the recent violence, and a short video created by a group of Iranian women in America.
Smock and awe
The Sprüth Magers Gallery in Mayfair will be home to a number of artisans (or "smockers") who will manufacture garments that are then available for purchase right after their production, as part of a new artistic endeavour by Andrea Zittel, which coincides with London Fashion Week, in September. The show, called Smockshop, is not billed as a straightforward commercial venture but a "dissident intervention which deliberately diverges from the fashion industry's organising principles of mass manufacture..." Wow.
Indy man's ready to scale the heights
As the first in a series of artists and madmen prepare to climb atop the fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square on Monday morning, to do their own thing for one hour at a time for Antony Gormley's 'One and Other' sculpture for the Fourth Plinth project, Tim Walker, a feature writer at 'The Independent', has received confirmation that he is to be hiked up onto the plinth, at 8pm on 13 August: "So far I've been soliciting ideas from colleagues and friends, the best of which was that I take a Boombox and perform musical statues for an hour," he said. If readers can come up with something better, which doesn't involve strenuous physical exercise or nudity, they should let Tim know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sorry about the prize money, Phil
Philip Hoare, the winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, this week walked away with £20,000 prize money for his extraordinary book on whales, called 'Leviathan'. But had he won it any other year, he would have bagged £30,000 from the BBC sponsors. An insider said the change was a "reflection of the miserable economic climate" but some may point out it's a bit rich given the current revelations involving the BBC and its expenses row, with its director general, Mark Thompson, defending the £350,000 paid out to the corporations top executives in "expenses".
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