Banksy’s stealth video of the bidding on Girl with Balloon at Sotheby’s and the sales job that preceded it adds yet another layer of satire to a subversive intervention that has a more serious subtext — a critique of self-sabotaging auction houses that have damaged their credibility as a transparent public marketplace where buyers can feel reasonably confident that they are paying fair market value, equitably arrived at, on a level playing field.
Rightly or wrongly, I’ve come to think of everything that’s occurred since 9/11 as part of “the recent past.” Those events that predate the coming of the twenty-first century, on the other hand, all seem to me to have taken place “a long time ago.” What inspired this train of thought, strangely enough, was the announcement the other day of the bankruptcy of Sears, Roebuck.
Is a curtain – that fabric lodged in the fabric of the building – a prop? Usually, no; but Vicki Mortimer’s design for Wise Children – adapted from Angela Carter’s deliciously rorty final novel – includes mobile pictures of stage curtains of various sizes, from toy-theatre miniature to human-height-plus. Identical in all but scale, they present the very quintessence of curtain.