March 2009


Winter sun. Just past the lunar equinox. Slack tides. I walk along the Thames path into town to buy On Grammatology by Jacques Derrida. Lost the previous copy.

In front of the old Billingsgate fish market I clamber down on to the foreshore. Combing through the pebblebricks, gravel, shells, bones, pieces of clay pipe, fossils, plastic detritus and ceramic bits-and-pieces.

I notice a distinctive drift of cobalt blue Willow Pattern shards. Squat, sift and see a fragment with an image. I pick-it-up to inspect. In China there's a man on a river foreshore. I'm in a Borges story.

Working SessionI was in conversation with Dr Dan Smith at Chelsea College of Art and Design. We were attempting to play with the lecture format and discuss notions of the everyday. We used Michel de Certeau and the Practice of Everyday Life (1984) as our guide.

De Certeau defines two broad spheres within everyday practices.

The first sphere is that of Strategy. Strategy is the realm of power. Political, economic, financial, aesthetic, legal and scientific. It’s the proper place for the excise of authority. A strategic authority confers the ability to oversee a particular field - financial, aesthetic, legal, etc. Armies and war, laws and legal codes, monetary policy and bond issues spring to mind. Institutions help dominate a particular field of strategy, like the Serpentine Gallery, White Cube or the Frieze Art Fair.

Ibn Tulun mosqueI was in Cairo in November 2008 to make a short film for an exhibition curated by Nav Haq and Tirdad Zolghadr entitled Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie at the Townhouse Gallery.

Althought I had visited some twenty five years ago, Cairo is still an amazing experience.

In some downtime I went to visit two mosques side-by-side, the majestic Sultan Hassan and Ar Rifa’r which contains the tomb of the Shah of Iran. As a tourist you need tickets to enter. There was a wooden kiosk with a lady inside. I ask for a ticket.

First, trust seeped away in the debt markets. They seized, and the repercussions caused financial and 'real' economies to collapse. Trust is the most precious commodity in any market.

I'm reminded of a project I did in 2001 at Tate Modern and the Bank of England, Capital. Capital was a series of encounters between two iconic institutions and the economies they animate; the Tate and the Bank of England.

In Tate Modern and in the Bank of England Museum, at unspecified times during the day a visitor was approached by a gallery or museum official. "This is for you" accompanied the presentation of a beautifully packaged gift -a limited edition print.


PARADE: Market of IdeasFlowering Allium Sativum: GarlicGalician plateau, near LagoKristina and Juan#TransActing zombie academicPamplona cathedral