Martin Creed – A bowdlerisation of all objects and 1001 activities? Stefan Szczelkun


Martin Creed represents a new relaxed freedom and inclusion in art. We can now all include our childhood drawings in our art shows (but only in certain controlled environments.)
The naive is separated from its messy base and put on pedestals. Everyday materials and artless productions are ‘good’… they are ‘OK’ we can feel alright about them now. But look carefully and many everyday challenges are excised. Even his golden clenched fist is a childhood piece presented in a closed vitrine.
Base functions from making raspberries to sick & shit, and having an erection, do have their feeling qualities. The middle classes can now get used to their aesthetic dimensions. Creed’s exhibition will train them to be children again. A mother at the door of the Sick&Shit projections complained to me how her three year old son loves it so. She wants to leave but he won’t let her.
Pretence: there is not any longer a need for class separation in aesthetics. Anything we do has some aesthetic quality, lets all finally admit it.
BUT Creed’s ordinary does not include any ordinary things that might lead to liberation or revolt. There is no grief or crying. No post traumatic stress disorders. No displaced peoples. No homelessness. etc. List all the things that are missing rather than the plethora that’s included. And the missing things all share one characteristic – they all challenge capitalism in its current bullish and blissfully omnipotent mood.
It is about making the mundane aesthetically normalised for the middle classes. A bowdlerisation of all objects and activity. A disarming exhibition because I relate too closely to much of it. I did that stuff too. I made that poor joke but without the panache and confidence that Creed brings to it.
Creed is like a court jester, he plays in the margins of what is possible and possibly naughty. He’s naughty and knowing but does so in the pockets of the super rich. They can invest heavily in his silly and obvious ideas but that doesn’t mean you and I can now go to the Arts Council for tens of thousands to build a room full of balloons or a high prestige show of all your old paintings because that has all be ticked off. Sorry mate, you’re too late. Its been done.
I know there is one thing he missed – spitting. Maybe I can do a very well supported spitting piece straight away. If you don’t have too many aspirations you can still quietly hawk phlegm into the gutter. Middle class people would prefer to choke than be caught spitting. Spitting can be my ticket to fame and good fortune. Arts Council are you listening? This is my application for dosh. This is how we do it nowadays, informally on the social media.


The Fine Line Chanticleer Publication 070105

At face value
the skin over London is too tight
the face lift of success too successful
(probably rep-car replaces Bowler)
too deep yet the lines in the faces of the poor

Fragmentary, impressionistic portraits of life in London, tinged with critical social commentary, and with the sadness and loneliness of those who live on the edge. Many of the poems are untitled, and Lucapacijürgenhebrezgiabiher makes use of visual effects, including line drawings and different fonts, in the manner of early twentieth century French poets, such as Apollonaire (unfortunately not reproducible in this review). I was also reminded of Kenneth Patchen, and I would guess that Lucapacijürgenhebrezgiabiher is a reader of Blake, Eliot and Pound. He quotes Dante: “Tra la perduta gente” (Among the lost people).

The city of London in these poems is both timeless and very much of today. He answers the question WHAT’S BEAUTY?:

Eating space and tar
Following the road — scar
Wounding the city

The burning rail tracks
Sparkling into another
Dimension where things

That bleached poster
Stuck at the petrol pump

Dwindling morning dream
Visit……visit Jamaica

The success of some has always come at a price for others. Lucapacijürgenhebrezgiabiher makes his point in a manner which is playful and aphoristic:

London skull
heading a Europe
oh what a swish reaper
(probably with a Bowler hat)
a sort of royal dawdler in

— from the untitled poem quoted at the start of this reivew —

There is a kind of controlled rage and sadness. From the same poem:

assets assets assets assets assets assets assets assets assets assets assets assets
worth some wars and
flesh to be rubbished away
beauty to be sold out
needs streamlined into one-way system

Some of the poems take the form of small prayers. There is a yearning for a different Albion, where not

only the fool can
make it.

At their best, the poems have a hypnotic, haunting quality. And they are all much more readable and pronounceable than the author’s name.

Not all the writing in this collection will appeal, but if the lines quoted above say something to you, it’s worthwhile getting hold of a copy of this book.
Reviewer: Ian Seed.

Killed a Girl Called Reality: An interview with Nina Roth and Paolo Cirio from

Last time I took a plane, I guess it was in August, I met someone. There was no immediate attraction, but we talked deeply, promptly. She told me not to take my drinks with me any further, she made me undress my shoes, my jacket and also my belt. That was very fast for the first meeting, but she told me to relax. Hearing strange noises, she told me, she needs to touch me. I was confused, but I accepted and it felt good. While body checking we were talking about regulatory power and questions I never dared to ask. It was so intense. When she stopped touching, I was left alone with an emptiness of not knowing why all this had happened. And then, I guess, it just occurred to me, that I had to kill a girl called reality. Continue reading