Categories: Culture

Dancing strippers and inflatable targets

Jeremy Deller throws a raucously drunken party; Marc Quinn’s blow-up Alison Lapper is in the critics’ crosshairs, while money grows on trees. Two theories emerged

The opening of Jeremy Deller’s British pavilion for the Venice Biennale was celebrated with a big, raucous party on the Isola delle Vignole: lethal cocktails and dinner followed by dancing to the wonderful Melodians Steel Band, who also provide the soundtrack of Bowie, A Guy Called Gerald, and Vaughan Williams in the film in Deller’s show.

One young lad was having such a great time he stripped off his kit and danced on the tables naked. “Who is that?” people kept asking, in a state of mild shock. Two theories emerged: one that he was part of the Austrian Gelitin artists’ collective; the other that he was part of the posse from Palazzo Peckham (a biennale project run by young artists from south-east London). Either way, everyone relaxed about the display of flesh and bits when it was revealed as possible Art with a capital A.

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There is good news, by the way, for those who are intrigued by Deller’s pavilion but can’t get to it before it closes on 24 November. The exhibition will – a first for UK presentations in Venice – be restaged in Britain, starting in January at the William Morris Gallery in London and then travelling to Bristol and Margate.

FATJOE

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