The Art Olympics edition

The Italians call it the Biennale and unlike the sporting

olympics which come round every four years…

…this event comes round every two years and has done

for the past 110 years

It’s also held in the same place, Venice, and it doesn’t

move around from city to city

Interestingly drugs are a major concern in Venice and a

significant factor behind some of the art…

Sadly, as some of you may have heard a German (YES, this

still matters !) tourist was crushed to death in a gondola

last week, his daughter is seriously injured and Venice is

in shock…

The gondola got between a vaporetto (a water bus) and the

dock and you can guess the rest…..

The driver of the gondola was subsequently tested positive for


No, he wasn’t a crack-head junkie…..

…..Yes, he was a glue-sniffing, ‘O Sole Mio’-singing paddle


It’s the glue used in the construction and repair of said craft

that the gondolieri get addicted to

Why can’t they just settle for girls and football like their terra

firma cousins ? ? ?

The Biennale is situated in the public gardens…..

Surprised ?

Probably !

Many people don’t realise that Venice has large and very beautiful

public gardens

Anyway this is where the Art Olympians walk the walk…

…talk the talk

…and basically produce lots of stuff that most of you wouldn’t

consider art

But Art it is and art it will remain and some of it is bellissimo

…some of it is witty

…some of it is clever

…and some of it couldn’t have come about without the help of

DRUGS (actually probably quite a lot)

First prize in the G.-man’s eyes must go to the Israelis…..

…..This is sculpture, installation and video set in different

countries and linked by a story line…..

Simply the wittiest and cleverest ‘work of art’ I have ever seen

Second prize goes to the English, actually Jeremy Deller couldn’t

paint my sitting room properly, but he set up a tea stand (P G Tips)

and had a tea lady serving rosy lee to all-comers and a very thirsty


A little English magic and a stroke of, err, artistic genius

Third prize goes to the Americans, Sarah Sze spent three months

putting this extraordinary show together that has shades of Heath Robinson

She must be mad (like Russell Crowe in ‘A Beautiful Mind’) but I would

love to meet her (she would definitely test positive)

The booby prize goes to the Koreans……

They have created an isolation room…..

…..pitch black

… sound (all phones have to switched off)

…..persons of a nervous disposition are not allowed

…..persons with heart conditions are ruled out

…..persons liable to panic attacks are ruled out

…..etc etc etc

… is a long list taken very seriously

In went the…

…with the other 11 punters (only a dozen at a time)

The door is SHUT




Then it loomed into view

Two greenish, luminous arms ! ! !

The Groover’s Swiss watch !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Somebody started to giggle…..

…..then the whole room erupted into laughter

The artistic moment was over

Lost for ever

The security men threw open the door and ushered us out


I didn’t do it deliberately

Why don’t they tell people to take their watches off and put them

in their pockets

Anyway, it was a BEDAT…..

…..and that’s the groovy word for TIME !



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