Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kate Moss in the British Museum

Marc Quinn is probably my favourite sculptor working in Britain today. He recently exhibited a sculpture of Kate Moss made of cast solid gold at the British Museum, as part of the Statuephilia show. It was brilliant.

The museum staged a talk between writer Will Self and Marc Quinn as one of the events accompanying the show. It was very well attended and reasonably enlightening. Quinn spoke about how the piece was about cultural notions of 'value' and contemporary myth. The sculpture clearly links a contemporary cultural icon, Moss, with classical mythological systems and questions our value systems, or the process whereby cultural value systems are created.

Unfortunately, the audience question section threw the floor open to retrogrades who felt authenticity means the artist should make everything himself (the romantic cult of the mark of the artist dies hard). I was impressed with the good humour and ease with which Self and Quinn handled these comments. I just squirmed in embarrassment for the questioner.

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