Just ‘cos she dances go-go, It don’t make her a ho, no. †
The art of manipulation: towards new formulations for critique in a post-political age. Words by Christopher Thomas
Featuring: Bret Easton Ellis, Vicky Gold, Jane Austen, Paul Davis, JJ Charleworth, Gerard Hemsworth, Lindsay Sears, Mark McGowan, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jacques Lacan, Catherine Lutz & Jane Collins, Susan Sontag, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Mikhail Bakhtin, Boris Mikhailov, Renzo Martens, Joseph Conrad, Juergen Teller, Jacques Rancière, Andrea Fraser, Matthew Collings, and of course Wyclef Jean† (who, it turns out, won’t be President of Haiti after all).
““You do an awfully good impression of yourself.” This is the first line of Lunar Park and in it’s brevity and simplicity it was supposed to be a return to form.” - Bret Easton Ellis, Lunar Park, 2005
“Are you an absolute fucking nut-job?” This is the fourth line of this article and the first question I put to Vicky Gould and, in its direct simplicity, it could have been a return to the norm. But I no longer knew what I wanted the answer to be. You see, there was a time when I wanted artists to be, well, not idiots but I don’t know how I feel about this anymore. The newly re-branded Vicky ‘Gold’ and I are talking about Jane Austen openers and Lunar Park and its brilliant opening and how Bret Easton Ellis puts himself on the line in that book more than in his other books and how brave that is but I don’t think she reads that much and I wonder if she’s really brave or just really indulged and whether that really matters. We’re talking about other stuff because Gold is still under a court order preventing her from talking about her work in which she screwed (over) the tutor with whom she was in love and made her BA degree show about it and it was the first show that Goldsmiths College have ever censored and the tutor Paul Davis nearly lost his job and art people have been gossiping about it ever since. She says she has a lovely selection of photos of JJ Charlesworth that I could use for the article but I tell her that I’m not so sure because I used to go out with his sister Marie Fleur and I’m still good friends with her and so I don’t know if it’s a good idea but then again Marie Fleur’s a grown-up and I’m sure it won’t piss her off because they are lovely picture so it’s probably OK and after all I can’t legally publish the Paul Davies ones so I tell her that I’ll think about it. It’s been a long time since a degree show generated so much art chat and the trouble is that seeing it was a problem for me that’s been bugging me for the last year and not bugging me like an itch or bugging me because it’s annoying like it might have bugged other people (like painter Gerard Hemsworth, head of the Masters in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, who described Vicky Gold’s work as “really rather unfortunate” or artist and Goldsmiths tutor Lindsay Seers who thinks that she’s a bit sick) but bugging me like I’ve had to re-evaluate Easton Ellis, B. (2005) Lunar Park. NY: Random House. p.3.
Published on Nov 11, 2010