CRIES & WHISPERS

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The Independent Culture
4 TO WEMBLEY, to see Self Storage, the latest fruit of the fertile minds of Brian Eno and Laurie Anderson, and the fertile pocket of Artangel, the people who put up Rachel White-read's House. These likely bedfellows have taken over parts of a self-storage depot called Acorn, and collaborated with students from the Royal College of Art, where Eno is visiting professor, to put 20 installations in among the real "units". Because the depot is in use all day, the show starts at 7pm. So unless you live in Wembley, you have to squeeze into a series of rush-hour trains to get there - another kind of self-storage.

The depot is a labyrinth of grey passages and scarlet doors. A yellow line guides you round, with arrows to show which doors to open. So even if the exhibits were terrible, you'd have the simple pleasures of suspense and surprise. So as not to spoil this, please skip the next two paragraphs if you plan to go - and the show is warmly recommended.

Open the first door and a bank of drills are switched on: eight of them, pointing at you, like a firing squad. I didn't know what they meant, but I enjoyed the shock. Next, in a bigger space, stands a vat of water, with a body suspended in it. It's a woman, in white, with a hosepipe running into her mouth. I gazed at her for ages, deciding first that she was dead, then that she was breathing through the hose, and finally that she was a waxwork. The second thought turned out to be the right one. The woman is the artist, Michelle Griffiths; the work is a modern self-portrait. It beats a dead shark any day.

Another unit is a bedsit, furnished down to the answerphone, and advertised in this week's Loot, so, cruelly, you hear people calling in about it. Another, by Eno himself, is a cupboard containing a lifesize cast of an ancient potentate. It's authentic - from the British Museum collection. "Out of storage, into storage," as Artangel's Michael Morris says.

The show confirms Brian Eno as the non-conceptualist's conceptualist: the concept comes as a bonus, not a substitute. You still get beauty and mystery. And the location is very apt. Usually when you see rock stars in Wembley, you get something safe. Here, in a safe place, two rock stars have put on something surprising. (To 7 May; 071-494 3780.)

4 THE BBC announces that The Late Show is to become just that - the late show. And you don't have to be its biggest fan to feel a twinge of sadness. The Late Show is more than a TV programme: it's an institution. To reach that status in only six years is quite a feat. It shouldn't be thrown away.

4 THE DRAWING on the left has just been "discovered" by the Hermitage in St Petersburg, and hailed as a lost Picasso, Absinthe - Girl in a Caf. I hesitate to challenge such an authority, but . . . The Byronic hair, the full lips, the ruminative pose, the faraway eyes - there's no mistaking him. This is a sketch of the young Tom Stoppard.

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