Friday 19 May 1995
Fancy a flutter? Bet you do. Britons, so we are told, are now Europe's biggest nation of gamblers, spending some pounds 60m a week on the lottery alone. Art always mirrors reality, and, sure enough, this week a quorum of young British artists set up shop at the Barbican in "The Art Casino", a celebration of the art of getting rich quick. Most familiar of the works on show will be the video made by Mark Wallinger, currently exhibiting at the Serpentine. In agonizing detail he tells the tragic tale of his conceptual creation, the famously unsuccessful racehorse "A Real Work of Art" - a persistent non-starter from last year's flat season. Other highlights include Laura Ford's surprising fruit machines, Hugo Glendinning's life-size photographs (Tilda Swinton, left) and a performance by David Izod in which the artist reveals the secrets of his previous life as a casino croupier. It's all very light-hearted. But what of the reality of the helplessly addicted gambler, the squandered pay-packet, the broken marriage? It seems that here, as so often in contemporary art, the deeper implications may have been passed over. As art this is disappointing. But it might be fun if you can't afford a day at the races. It's telling that the show should be sponsored by bookmakers William Hill. Ten-to-one you come away having learnt at least one lesson: the bookies always win. Rien ne va plus.
The Art Casino is at the Barbican Art Gallery, EC2 19-21 May (0171-588 9023)
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever