5 Sep

I was talking to somebody about this blog and the other person said that they sometimes didn’t know how seriously to take some of the things I write here and in my book because they- as I already know some other people do- evidently find it difficult or disturbing that they feel they have to distinguish between when I’m joking or when I’m serious.

To turn this into some kind of answerable query, I suppose the question is: do I really feel as strongly about some of the things I write about as I might seem to?

The answer is: Despite the fact that I adopt a bit of a character to write most non-fictional things (including Twitter and whatnot), I’m fundamentally just honest about the things that I like and I’m honest about the things that I dislike. Things that I’m indifferent to are correspondingly hard to write about in a way I’d consider worth anybody reading, so I don’t bother, therefore there’s the love or hate polarisation. I do write about things that I love or hate, it’s not a pose I adopt and then privately kiss the arses of people I’ve been castigating. So I’m jokingly serious or seriously joking, or both.

At the same time it should be borne in mind that I’m often sitting here (or sitting somewhere else) delightedly laughing my arse off as I really get my teeth into some hapless victim’s neck and shake them until they go limp. Some people may not think that’s not cricket, not very becoming or generous or ladylike or whatever but I’m not the art world’s equivalent of the Unabomber, brooding in the total seriousness of my anti-The Man shack and plotting my revenge. For one thing, to take the art world that seriously would be giving it far more respect and credit than it deserves.

For the stuff I’ve been working on about the Biennale (coming soon!), I looked at my notes from just a few weeks ago and at first I thought “what is this fulminating psychopath’s notebook doing on my desk?”- oh, wait… I wrote these. So I can understand if people get a bit scared sometimes that if they ever met me I’d be on them like Hannibal Lecter, but writing them up has given me a great laugh. If fear or resentment of people like me taking the piss stops even a single person from perpetrating just one more artbollocks justification for a substandard piece of work, or if a memory of something written here makes a person laugh in a curator’s or an artist’s face when they say something risible, then I shall continue to be exactly the kind of very happy man who writes these things.



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