Ceal Floyer at Giorgio's
I am standing in Giorgio Sadotti's front room. Well, sort of front room. It's not like a usual house because Giorgio lives in a David Adjaye designed house in the east end. From outside it just looks like a big brown thing, with no windows or doors or anything. From outside it looks a bit weird. But inside it's great. A really quite amazing house. The whole of the back wall is just a giant window, letting light down into the bottom of the house.
I'm here for one of Giorgio's - what? I don't really know what they are called. Every year he shows work by an invited artist and himself. It's usually on a Sunday afternoon. It's not really a show and it's not really a party, though there are lots of people and there is some drink and some food. It is what it is, I guess. I'm very fond of it and of the idea. I have done something similar for the past few years too. Make some work, invite people round, feed them, give them some drink, have fun.
Anyway, I'm here and looking at a monitor showing a road where there are some cars passing. This is Ceal Floyer's work. It's slight and short and minimalist.
I am drinking red wine from a white china cup and saucer and talking to Liz Wright, Giorgio's partner.
'Where's Giorgio's piece?' I ask, expecting to suddenly hear something blaring out, loud and disruptive.
Liz smiles, inscrutably. Liz does inscrutable really well.
'OK,' I say, 'Are you alright if I take a couple of photos?' It's like her and Giorgio's house and everything, it's not like a gallery so I'm not sure of the ground rules.
'Ask Giorgio,' say Liz. Then she says, 'I think it's time you stopped taking photos, isn't it? It's a Sunday. Have a day off.' She looks at me pityingly, like I'm a child wanting to play the same game again and again.
'I will have a day off,' I say, 'in about five months time. Five months and then I'm done.' Five months and then this blog, this piece of work about history, place and identity, about what it means to be here, now in London, in the artworld (whatever that is), chipping away at a thin strata of what the artworld is for me, for all of us, comes to an end. But that still all feels a long way off. And there's still lots to do.
Anyway, more of that later...
I try again.
'OK,' I say, 'Ceal's work is these cars going past, but only white cars....And Giorgio's piece is....?'
Liz smiles that smile again.
I often think Liz would make an excellent sphinx.
'OK,' she says. 'So. White....'
She motions to the cups we are drinking from, raises her eyebrows, nods towards the table of cups and wine....
Hmmmm, so Giorgio's response(?) to Ceal's piece is the cups we are drinking from.
Maybe his work is just a generous gift of drinking vessels.
Seems unlikely, though, I think.
I go over to the table to look at the cups (and get more wine) and chat to Mathieu Copeland who is there. I tell him that Cerith Wyn Evans bought three copies of his magazine, Perfect, the other day, saying, 'I bet you don't sell many of these' - but actually we do, it's one of the most consistently selling magazines we have. So Mathieu is very happy. I also wonder if he is a little drunk...
I see Gavin Turk there, Bob and Roberta Smith and Jessica Voorsanger. It's a good turn out. Whatever it is.
I also get introduced to David Gleeson. He is very funny and very gossipy. He mentions ArtRumour which everyone used to read online. He used to contribute bits and pieces. No surprise, I think.
I'm starting to get myself together to leave (wondering if I should take one of the cups and saucers, but don't), say my goodbyes and, by chance, leave with David.
Before we go separate ways I give him my card. 'I really ought to give you mine,' he says, 'but I've only got this on me.' He offers me his Boots Advantage card. If there were enough points on it I might have taken it, but I let him keep it. We say our toodle pips and I head to the tube.
I stand at the edge of the road, waiting to cross. There are lots of cars, and inevitably, none of them are white.