As I'm walking towards the doors that lead to the beer, just on the edge of the Economist Plaza where Julie Verhoeven has her opening tonight, out comes Calum F Youknowwho who sees me and says, in a voice laden with mystery and foreboding, 'Don't forget to pick up a seed...'.
But it's ok, because - for once - I know what he's on about. According to the press release I saw earlier, Julie has made this big flower thing in the building and filled it with seeds which you can take away, up to Riflemaker Gallery on Beak Street and plant, so that your seed will be sprouting and growing when Julie's show opens there later in the year.
Sadly though, it looks like it's going to remain an idea.
I go in, grab a beer, look at the flower and think: can't see any seeds in that. I look around a bit and see another one of her works and check that out. I'm beginning to form an opinion on it, compare this stripped back wooden flower with the first colourful one I saw, when I suddenly realise that I'm looking at a coat rack.
I've only had, like, a sip of beer. I move away quickly, hoping no one has seen me looking at it so intently. (Thank the Lord I didn't take a photo.)
The seeds must be in the first flower thing I saw...
I go back and check it out.
Doesn't look like it to me.
I ask one of those nice, attractive, posh girls who work at these things (what can that job advert look like? 'Nice, attractive, posh girl required. Must have public school upbringing and an interest in being nice, attractive and posh.') who tells me, very clearly, that Julie has made a flower with some seeds in which will be growing when her show opens at Riflemaker later in the year. 'Yes,' I say, 'that's right. And we can all take a seed tonight and then take it up to Riflemaker and plant it.' She gives me that look that only nice, attractive, posh girls can do when you've said something to them that isn't in the script. The sort of face that starts at 'hi, how can I help' and ends, a second later, abruptly, at 'hi, where's SECURITY?!'
'No, I say, that's what it said...'
'I'll need to check that for you,' she says, now looking around nervously, backing away. I realise this whole thing isn't going the way I wanted, certainly not the way it was supposed to. Maybe it was the way I said the word 'seed' that did it?
I take my hand off her mouth and place the gun calmly back into my pocket and head back to that damn flower. I can't work it out at all.
Outside I wander around looking at the bits of wood and paint that Julie has lashed up the sides of the building. It all seems pretty slight. Like a DIY job abandoned halfway. I look around, Julie is there, looking a little like a plank of wood with splashes of paint herself. Maybe she was abandoned halfway through, too.
Calum comes up and I listen to him tell me about all the various shows and performances and bits and pieces he has coming up. I find the best way to talk to Calum is to let him get his promotional spiel out the way first and then maybe have some sort of reasonable dialogue after. This doesn't always work, of course, because sometimes this first bit doesn't actually end. Anyway, he is going on tonight but we both become interested in a curtain that is blowing out the window of the building next to the plaza. There is a trio of women at the window, all dressed the same, who are watching the proceedings going on beneath them. Are they cleaners? Hotel maids?What is that place? We both stand taking photos, other people seem them and wave. They wave back. It is all faintly exciting, like in a french film.
Graham Hudson is there. He was interviewed in Time Out this morning. He is looking very tan from Chelsea Parade ground. He also introduces me to two students who are working out on the parade ground with him now. James and Luke, I think they are called. There they are at the top of this entry. They are the first two soldiers in Graham's army. Two students who are being taught in the Grahan Hudson School of Art.
I guess Graham is planting seeds too.
me julie pics