Martin Creed Wants to be Here
'I'm here, because, because, because, I like, I like to, I want to be, to be here. I like, I like doing this.'
Martin Creed is pacing around the stage of the Purcell Room at the South Bank.
So, yes, I guess he wants to be here. He says so.
He also said much the same as this when he did the Roland Penrose Memorial lecture, 'Everything is Something', last year. I was there. He said much the same. He tried to explain why he was there, and he tried to be there, on stage, in front of people, then and there. He talked about doing work in front of people and not just sitting in a little room, in that 'soup' that you get in when you sit in a little room on your own and think.
It's not good.
I used to sit and think. Got me nowhere.
Tonight he is here and now. Tonight he's saying this, trying to explain to us and to himself why he is here, standing up on a stage, with us lot (I count maybe a hundred of us) looking at him and waiting to see what he does. Will he do anything? There's a drumkit, bass and guitar to one side of the stage, but that means nothing...
Also, while he is striding across the stage, stopping, thinking, speaking, hesitating, frowning, sighing, his movements are being replicated by a girl behind him. When he lifts the mic to speak, she lifts an invisible mic to her mouth; when he walks across the stage, she too walks across the stage, miming, copying, trailing him.
He picks up his guitar. The girl disappears off the side of the stage.
He plays a song, with his two band members now on bass and drums (they are both excellent - the girl on the drums especially so). I think it's 'Feeling Alright.' He finishes, plays another song maybe, I can't remember.
Then he walks off the stage, up to the the back of the auditorium and whispers into the microphone, so we can all hear, 'Play the video now.'
The screen at the back of the stage lights up. It is white. A girl comes into view and abruptly throws up on the floor. Repeatedly.
I've heard about this - his film of people being sick. Having seen Millie throw up in mutlicolours earlier in the year, this seems quite tame. I also read about the film he was doing of people having a shit, in a film called SHIT, but I don't know anymore about this. I emailed Hauser and Wirth about it a few weeks ago, but they never answered...
Anyway, he's back on stage and he's back to playing guitar. More of his spiky, post punk, edgy classics.
As he's playing 'I Like Things', I'm suddenly reminded of David Byrne circa Fear of Music and Talking Heads '77.
He plays some more.
He plays 1-100, the words of which are, yep, you guessed it, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...etc
It's one of my favourites.
And of course he ends with 'Fuck Off'.
It's his usual ending. Provocative and endearing.
Nice, I think.
I was here because I wanted, really wanted to, to be, to be here.