Today I spent 4 or 5 hours in the British Museum. It was wonderful. There’s something there for everyone. I have to admit to behaving today a bit like an accountant & a person who without fail always counts their lengths when swimming. I grabbed the brochure entitled “A History of the World in 100 Objects”, picked out the 20 that interested me the most & then mapped out a route to view them. I did my “objet” viewing on either side of the main reason for my trip – Grayson Perry’s exhibition “The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman”. All I can say is it’s on until 26 Feb (extension by popular demand) & if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to get down there, pay your tenner and consume this visual feast.
I know there’s been a lot already written about this exhibition, and photos were not permitted, so I’m going to keep this short. It’s a mix of artefacts from the British museum which the artist has selected & then sometimes juxtaposed next to his own work (10 or so of his famous ceramic pots including one featuring Mark E Smith of The Fall entitled “Grumpy Old God pot”, iron sculptures of people, a coffin containing his ponytail from 25 years ago, needlework and huge tapestries, a tower he built out of stones he found on the road outside his squat in 1983, outrageous costumes he’s created & then worn, and of course his famous motorcycle – there in my photo, complete with Alan Measles riding at the back in his box).
What I liked most of all was some of the stuff Grayson had written here & there. These are my favourites:
· Reality can be new as well as old, poetic as well as factual and funny as well as grim;
· Next to a selection of exquisite tiny portable lacquered Japanese shrines from the 1700s he tells us that the modern day equivalent of a portable shrine is the photo album we all carry about on our smartphones – I love that
· The suggestion that CCTV is the modern version of carvings over cathedral doors depicting the Last Judgement & the damned going to hell – hahaha
Beautiful, just beautiful. Don’t miss out. Post up your comments if you’ve been along & enjoyed it as much as I did. I look forward to reading them.