28: Necronauts

Today I got the train to London to go and see Tom McCarthy and Simon Critchley from the International Necronautical Society give a talk at the Tate Britain as part of the run-up to the fourth Tate Triennial, which kicks off in February. I reckoned that any society which has posts called Chief Philosopher and Head of Propaganda deserved a look-see. We had a hell of a time getting there as the underground was totally against us and we don't know the London buses at all, so we ended up running around like fools for forty-five minutes, circling out-of-action tube stations and failing to find any relevant bus and refusing to pay for a cab, but we got there in the end, and the talk, which was the INS's Joint Statement on Inauthenticity, was worth the hassle. They weren't really saying anything more than elucidating certain principles of post-modernism and attesting that they were still relevant today, but their presentation was slick and the Q&A was really entertaining and there was free wine afterwards, which, really, is what life's all about. I did get cornered by a nutcase who claimed to be an artist working in the areas of 'art, philosophy and science' and twisted round in her chair to talk at me for ages about obesity epidemics before the talk started, until I was ready to clout her over the head with my bag and do a little triumphant dance. Evasive action had to be deployed afterwards in case she caught up with us by the wine, and we had to hide behind a big pillar for a while. Stressful. On the train back I read Last Exit to Brooklyn and then came home and listened to Jenn Ashworth's interivew on the radio and had my dinner and mourned the fact that we've no tea in the house, and that's about where I am right at the moment. I want to read Jenn's book and I want a cup of tea NOW.

3 comments:

Mister Trippy said...

Found this interesting but so very different to my own take on what went down.... so who got it right?? Or could we both be right? Check http://stewarthomesociety.org/blog/?p=207&cpage=1#comment-564 to see my very different account..... I know Simon Critchley personally and as far as I'm concerned he wasn't in London but at home in New York... Tom McCarthy was there but didn't speak....

Valerie O'Riordan said...

Hey Mister Trippy! Well, I bow to your superior knowledge, if in fact it wasn't McCarthy and Critchley themselves - I wouldn't have recognised them anyway so the joke is on me. I found the Q&A very funny - I recognised about half the pre-scriped quotes, and I agree with you that plenty of the audience members didn't seem to get the joke. The second person to ask a question was the same boring nutter that sat in front of me and kept talking, and I think she, for one, didn't get the joke... But I did think, whatever happened, it was a pretty neat take on inauthenticity and I'd love to see them do it again!

Mister Trippy said...

Hey the important thing is you had a good time and maybe learnt something... but I kid you not (although I do kid a lot) it was not Simon and Tom... I know them both quite well so I can see when they've been replaced by actors... that was why the stuff about Warhol sending doubles to impersonate him got such a laugh from some of the audience... but it is great you're so hip about this... I didn't make up the woman from the TLS either.... I was sitting in the row down from the woman with the second question, in the middle... I've enjoyed your blog, so keep on keepin' on...