Alice Jones' Arts Diary: A ringing endorsement of the Olympics, but it may not chime with late-risers...
Martin Creed is entering the home straight with his latest opus – “Work No. 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes”.
The Turner Prize winner's contribution to London 2012 will take place at 8.12am on 27 July to mark the opening of the Olympic Games. Anyone can take part, as long as they have a bell, by registering on www.allthebells.com. So far, churches, Girl Guide troops, the Royal Navy and the National Theatre (which will ring the giant bell from Danny Boyle's Frankenstein on its roof) are among those who have signed up.
Sandy Nairne, director of the National Portrait Gallery, plans to mark “Martin's moment” with a street gathering on the junction of Lady Somerset and Burghley Roads in north London. “It will be a mix of bicycle bells, hand bells and any other antique bells people have lurking in their garages,” he tells me. “It's a form of national cheering. Anybody can be a part of it. I also like the idea that it is quite quick,” he adds. Given the antisocial hour, is he worried about the neighbours? “As far as I know, 8am is the time you're legally allowed to start drilling the roads, so 8.12 seems about right.”
From Riley to Rothko: art to make the pulse race
It has housed the Museum of Mankind, the Royal Academy Schools, Zoo Art Fair, a pop-up restaurant and Haunch of Venison all in the last decade; now 6 Burlington Gardens is to be the London home of Pace. The New York-based super gallery, whose artists include Bridget Riley and Mark Rothko, opened an office in Soho in 2010, but has taken its time finding an exhibition space. It will open in the 9000sqft west wing, which is owned by the adjacent Royal Academy, with a show of Rothko and Hiroshi Sugimoto in time for Frieze week in October. Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, formerly of Gagosian and art fixer to the Abramoviches, will take the helm. David Chipperfield will design the space in conjunction with the RA's larger refit. Pace has taken a 15-year lease in a “public/private partnership” deal with the RA. If it stays the course, it will be the longest tenant in recent history by some way.
It's a jungle out there for Bola Agbaje and her urban drama
Disappointing to see that Bola Agbaje's latest, Concrete Jungle, has been pulled from its tour. The playwright, who won an Olivier for her debut, Gone Too Far! at the Royal Court, has been working on the new play about gang culture since last year. Based on the testimonies of gang members, policeman and politicians, it had a preview in April at London's Riverside Studios and was due to open at the Tobacco Factory in Bristol this week before travelling to Manchester. Instead, Ludere Productions pulled the show due to rising production costs. “It just wasn't logistically possible to put it on in the smaller theatres,” I'm told. The show is now being edited and the company has applied for Arts Council funding in the hope of returning to the Riverside in October ahead of a mini tour. Fingers crossed.
A shout out for a reformed comedian
Helmets at the ready! David Whitney is back. The last time the comedian, 31, appeared on the Edinburgh Fringe, he made headlines for head-butting a heckler after a late-night gig and was fined £600. In his new show, Struggling to Evolve, a “guide to sex, drink and violence” he promises to “set the record straight” and show how he has moved on. Which means you can heckle as much as you like, and keep your teeth.
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