Wonky in Hoxton
What do you call a donkey with three legs?
We are at an ICA meeting waiting for some more people to turn up and someone tells this joke.
The answer is: a wonkey.
Ha ha. I like this. And it will also underpin, in a very slight way, and with a change in spelling, the evening that will unfold for me later and also even then still inform a small interaction I have the following afternoon.
But let's take it one step at a time.
We, Lena and me, arrive in Hoxton by cab which is unusual, but we are with ICA curator Rob Bowman which is also unusual but also very welcome. New gallery manager Trevor is also along for the ride and is going to kick around with us in Store for a few minutes and then head off to 1,000,000 mph - which, finally, I seem to have got on the mailing list for - an email dropped into my box the other day and I could hardly believe it. I say to Trevor that I'll see him there later. We are heading for Store, or rather Associates as it's now called, which used to be Store, at number 92 Hoxton Street, but is now a twelve month project, with twelve artists, put together by Ryan Gander. This first show is by Matthew Smith.
Dave Hoyland is there with a girl called Kate. Dave is on good form, telling stories about things I can't repeat here (suffice to say that all the stories seemed to involve rudeness and a certain part of an artists anatomy which - no, yes, let's leave it at that). Anyway, I am looking at the work here tonight, including a nectarine on the floor towards the back of the gallery (which Trevor kicks across the floor by mistake - as do many other people throughout the night), an album cover and a shelf that is fixed to the wall at a ridiculous slant and I'm saying to Dave that the word that keeps coming to mind when I'm looking at stuff in galleries at the moment is 'wonky'. It started when I was thinking about Graham Hudson's work, but now seems to be cropping up all sorts of places...
Rob is talking to Rosalind Nashashibi (Beck's winner 2003, factlovers) and Lena and I say a little hello to Ryan and his 'associate', Rebecca May Marston.
We work out the right direction for the new Store gallery and head down there. The artist showing tonight is Roman Wolgin and we are expecting quite a heavy, grey Russian sort of show. Instead we get quite a colourful one which seems to be a pastiche of a whole bunch of other artists...Richter, Kippenberger, Rauch...and slap bang in your eye as you walk in is a 'Gerhard Richter' painting of a naked woman. Rob and Lena start talking about the unusually large nipples that the woman seems to have and this conversation buzzes around us all evening like flies round rotting meat. At one point I pass Sara Scarsbrook and say hi, and 'sorry, we're talking about nipples', shrugging and meaning to be quirky and off beat. But to which she immediately says: 'I know. Aren't they big?'
Seems like this woman's nipples are a major talking point of the evening...
I chat to Rob for a bit and then we decide to maybe head on, there's after drinks at the Rivington and there's still 1,000,000mph, but it's already after 9.00 suddenly and I'm thinking I can't believe it but I'm not going to make it there...
Bedwyr Williams is outside. He starts on a story about getting caught up in some large e-mailout from an artist that went wrong recently. Some guy emailed out his entire list and everyone who replied seemed to be locked into replying to everyone on his list (or something). It was a long story. Then he disappears off with Ryan to the Rivington and, what the heck, we follow.
After getting nearly crushed to death we make it to a little pocket of breathing space, miraculously just next to the free wine table. How nice is that? Sara Preibsch joins us around now, Rob introduces us to Tom Morton, there's other people we see and wave to and there's the free wine to drink. Rob leaves after a little while and I'm beginning to feel that if my life were made of wood, I swear I can hear a carpenter calmly planing all the sharp edges off everything....
Sara borrows my camera, runs off getting all Daffyd Jones on everyone and makes me a breakfast of complete bafflement the next morning when I look thru the photos thinking, 'I don't remember taking these..'
I don't remember - hey, has Rob gone? How come we are sitting here? I thought, oh yes, thanks, I will have another...
Details after this point are removed from my evening as a chimp might pick fleas from its partner.
We now seem to have our own bottles of wine. How did we...oh never mind. Where's Rob gone? Really, when was that? Anyone for tennis, dear??
The evening slips away like a ship being launched in the sea...the Titanic, I think, in this case...and after a few more glasses of wine it all...gets...very...very...wonky...indeed...