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The Independent Culture
Where does the artist Peter Kennard go to increase the political impact of his work? To a politician.

Ken Livingstone has been called many things in his time, but one imagines "installation artist" is not one of them. On Thursday lunchtime he made his fourth and final appearance at the Gimpel Fils gallery near Bond Street, London, a high-octane display with three microphones and much tender stepping through a room full of filthy placards.

Kennard met Ken in GLC days, designing muscular anti-nuclear posters; his most famous collage, Haywain with Cruise Missile, is on show at the V&A. These days their show involves an assassination of the international banking network, which they blame directly for third world poverty, disease and death.

Kennard's contribution consists of framed selections from the financial pages. The gallery is bulked out with poles and distressed cardboard, symbols of former protests.

And Ken? Well, he rants, really. It's an ugly scene, he says, this conspicuous wealth generated at the expense of millions. Anger floods the room: the suits are "responsible for the deaths of more people than the total of all those who died in World War Two".

Then he hammered John Major, Ken Clarke and Ronald Reagan, and left relieved. The Brazilian TV crew hung on every word.

n Photo: Peter Macdiarmid

Simon Garfield