Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Psst, you wanna buy a word? - Part Four

This appeared at Guardian Unlimited:

First there was the word...
Evening Standard reporter Valentine Low left his prejudices at the door when he was asked by the paper to buy a "word of art" at London's Institute of Contemporary Art. For £25, the gallery's bookshop manager whispered a single word in his ear, one of 100 words that are being "sold" by artist Tino Sehgal. When they have all been snapped up, the "owners" will be invited back to hear Sehgal put them into a complete paragraph. The excitement! Only problem is that Sehgal doesn't believe in transactions that leave a physical trace, so Low couldn't get a receipt. No receipt? Then he can't claim it on expenses. So Low has put his "word" on eBay with a starting bid of £4.99. Six days later, and there has not been a single bid. Sure, it's sight unseen - Low isn't revealing which word he bought - but, as he says himself: "I would have thought that £4.99 for a limited edition artwork worth £25 was a bit of a bargain." You never know, it might be "banana".


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