The Diary: Shakespeare conspiracy theory; Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada; fake terrorists at the Venice Biennale; Holzer vs Turner@Tate; Destino

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The Independent Culture


Another week, another Shakespeare conspiracy theory. Dr John Casson, whose book, 'Enter Pursued by a Bear The Unknown Plays of Shakespeare-Neville', is published next week, suggests that the real identity of the Bard was the eminent diplomat, Henry Neville, who for political and personal reasons was not able to identify himself as the playwright. The Shakespearean scholar, Professor Stanley Wells, has branded this as a new example of snobbery, saying: "The evidence suggesting William Shakespeare was William Shakespeare is irrefutable. Conspiracy theories have been going since the early 19th century, including one that says that [he] was Queen Elizabeth's son. They are based on the snobbish assumption that someone who came from a relatively modest background from Warwick, the son of a glover, could not be him; that he ought to have come from aristocracy."

Common touch

Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, who sculpted Barack Obama in Spain has unveiled several large drawings depicting "ordinary people" who have been thrust into the limelight. The show, at London's Andipa Gallery, includes portraits of the pilot who landed his plane in New York's Hudson River, saving all on board, and Kate Middleton.


Fake terrorists will take over the Venice Biennale this June, according to a report in The Art Newspaper. A spokesperson from the Moscow Museum of Modern Art's project, 'Attention!', by the renowned Russian art duo Alexander Vinogradov and Vladimir Dubossarsky said, "Fake terrorists will attack the museum and later everybody will be saved by commandos, also false. This reminds [people] of relations between art and the art market."

Holzer vs Turner@Tate

The Tate has been keeping a close eye on which artists get the greatest number of hits on its website. With the world's biggest collection of works by Turner and works by a host of other heavy hitters, the gallery was surprised to find that the American conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, not a household name, had won the online popularity contest. Holzer, born in 1950, has been getting the most hits out of the 18 million people who visited the site in the past three months. Turner may be turning in his grave.

Big leaps

A new dance production called 'Destino', which was staged last night at Sadler's Wells in London, not only features specially choreographed pieces by some of the biggest names in the business (Russell Maliphant, Adam Benjamin and Hofesh Schechter), but more bizarrely, a performance by over 120 non-professional dancers, including a 10-year-old and an 87-year-old woman (who has been outed as having fibbed about her age), and drawn from many communities, including a young offenders' centre in Bradford.