On Sunday afternoon I went to the opening of a show entitled Vicky Gold Brand New Art Superstar at Guy Hilton Gallery in Fournier Street, London E1. It was actually a group show but Vicky Gould got the star billing under her new moniker of Gold, and was the main selling point. Allegedly Gould’s work was produced for her final year fine art BA show this summer, but was censored by Goldsmiths College because it focused on her sexual obsession with a lecturer called Paul Davis.
When I arrived for the opening the exhibition was still being installed. I was introduced to Vicky who was sitting on the floor making chocolate icing, presumably so that she could smear it over her body during her advertised performance. I was told she was going to do a pole dance too. On a back wall there was a large purple heart with Vicky’s name in gold. There were a variety of slogans sprayed across the walls, and some ‘pictures’ carrying statements such as ‘Die Paul Die’, a dancing pole and various other objects. The vibe was gaudy and faux-naive. On a television monitor there was a short film called Me and Teacher, which was also uploaded on YouTube when I wrote this post and to which I’d provided a link. When I checked again after uploading this blog, the film was no longer available; according to YouTube this was ‘due to a copyright claim by Emma Davidson’.
I hung around for an hour and a half at the Guy Hilton opening but nothing was happening. Eventually, Vicky Gould and the other artists whose opening it was wandered off, so I left too. I didn’t really care whether Gould’s story of being obsessed with her tutor was genuine or a hoax. A similar debate still surrounds the Chris Kraus book I Love Dick which came out in 1998. In the Kraus tome, the first person narrator Chris Kraus obsessively pursues cultural studies icon Dick Hebdige. For Kraus, sexual obsession is a vehicle for exploring her own emotions. It doesn’t matter whether the Kraus text is fictional or autobiographical, what counts is that she is able to deconstruct the obsessions she delineates. Gould doesn’t do this, and given that she’s fifteen or twenty years younger than Kraus was when I Love Dick was written, it isn’t really surprising that her ‘art’ looks shallow and unformed in relation to this earlier work.
If Paul Davis really was Gould’s tutor then he should have pointed her in the direction of I Love Dick and advised her not to attempt work of this type until she was much older. As a consequence, what Gould does very successfully is make Goldsmiths College look utterly bankrupt as an educational institution. According to its website, Goldsmiths employs a tutor called Paul Davis, but it isn’t clear to me whether the person appearing in Gould’s videos and other pieces as this individual is a stand-in or the man himself. That doesn’t matter, the representation is of a ‘geek’ who lacks the social and intellectual skills needed by anybody who is going to teach. If Gould is fictionalising her experiences and Paul Davis is not really anything like the person he is presented as being here, then this work is a cutting-edge example of institutional critique. Otherwise not only Gould, but also Davis and the college that employ him cut very sorry figures, although placed in a gallery context this sad mess still functions as inadvertent ‘institutional critique’.
These days most people see artists like Andrea Fraser – the public face of institutional critique – as terminally unhip. If Davis or whoever taught Gould at Goldsmiths pointed her in the direction of the institutional critique movement, then they cunningly facilitated this student’s lampooning of a college that taught her art not wisely but too well. On the other hand, it looks equally possible that Gould is the rather sad result of very poor teaching. So is Goldsmiths a world-class training ground for double-bluffing and theoretically astute art hipsters? Or is it simply a money-grabbing business that is utterly shameless about the substandard eduction it offers it students? Whichever answer you pick, I’m sure you’ll choose it in a knowing post-modern sort of way!
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!
Comment by Michael K on 2009-07-08 10:58:27 +0000
Vicky Gold sounds like your kind of girl Trippy. Go for it!
Comment by The Real Tessie on 2009-07-08 13:13:18 +0000
K you need to button your lip buster, or I’ll button it up for you!
Comment by Peter James on 2009-07-08 13:42:30 +0000
Love Mister Trippy, Stewart x
Comment by Time on 2009-07-08 13:57:44 +0000
Everyone is an artist no? I mean at least every single person I’ve ever met in London is some sort or say they are…. lol
Comment by Darius James on 2009-07-08 15:57:19 +0000
Stewart Home is his own sexual obsession!
Comment by David Gionfriddo on 2009-07-08 16:57:51 +0000
It’s a groove sensation…
Comment by O on 2009-07-08 17:30:39 +0000
chris kraus is another name dropped into ozric archive first column as requested by joseph matheny of ong’s hat notoriety for his incunabula site 10 total http://www.incunabula.org/blog/ozric/ actually met ckraus briefly once after her reading at visarts performance space also received one email in which she declined invitation . . .
Comment by Terry Atkinson on 2009-07-08 17:40:44 +0000
My own view has always been to treat my teaching as being at the centre of my art practice. But teaching,more conventionally,is treated as not part of the artist’s (teacher’s) art practice,but rather as part of the relations of distribution. When artists talk of their work,they are inevitably talking of the products of their studio work,rather than the products of their teaching,where they do any.
Comment by Vicky on 2009-07-08 17:55:46 +0000
I was teasing you, Trippy
Comment by Anne Pigalle on 2009-07-08 21:39:31 +0000
that will be a first…
Comment by Andrew Stevens on 2009-07-08 22:24:53 +0000
They didn’t teach me any of that at Goldsmiths, bah.
Comment by Euan MacDonald on 2009-07-08 23:28:18 +0000
Goldsmiths! HA! A blight is far too polite a term, sir, for that shithole.
Comment by Michael Roth on 2009-07-09 03:02:39 +0000
This is basically the elevation of stalking to an art form. Hell, I’ve been doing that for years!
Comment by Klaus on 2009-07-09 03:52:42 +0000
Das habe ich mir wohl gedacht!
Comment by jim seventies on 2009-07-09 10:13:33 +0000
the best graduate show I’ve heard of was one where this guy invited the tutors marking him down to a cellar below the building, told them to wait there and then bricked them up
Comment by Tuesday Kid on 2009-07-09 11:58:39 +0000
It sounds to me like a badly thought out art stunt. Was she the sort of young lady you might have enjoyed watching pole dance?
Comment by v gold on 2009-07-09 16:28:26 +0000
yo. this is vicky. i’m sorry you didn’t wait for the performance, it was a bit of a mess because my friend was trying to catch a bird and i needed him to perform. i understand your concern for shock tactic, superstar artist crap. although, and i must stress this, i am sincere and this is not about getting attention for attentions sake. If it were, then i’d be eating corgies and swans etc. and it wasn’t stalking, it was about the mutual fantasy of a teacher and a student relationship in an art setting. there’s a lot of blurry areas in there that are quite lovely.
Comment by v gold on 2009-07-09 16:40:47 +0000
And I don’t think “trippy” would fancy me. to be honest with you.
Comment by v gold on 2009-07-09 16:42:43 +0000
and i’ll send you the performance that happened that day specially because i feel bad we took so long.
Comment by v gold on 2009-07-09 19:12:08 +0000
nor would I fancy trippy. He’s not tall, dark and handsome enough for me.
Comment by vicky reeaal on 2009-07-09 21:53:55 +0000
i didn’t sday that last bit! someone else did! and i don’t recall who trippy was let alone his height. and i’m more of a paul davis kinda girl too.
Comment by Vicky Too on 2009-07-09 22:38:21 +0000
You give Vicky a bad name
Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-07-09 23:30:31 +0000
Jim – wow bricking up the tutors, now that is good! Do you have a name to attach to this deed?
Tuesday Kid. I wasn’t sure what to make of Vicky Gold’s show and thought the performance might help me get closer to it.
Vicky Reaal. Don’t worry, while I can’t be sure you’re the right one, I’ll trust you, and I know you didn’t leave the comment you said you didn’t, nor the one following the denial.
Vicky Too. You always remind me of an old Adam & The Ants lyric: “We’ll do the tango/We’ll try the foxtrot/I’ll eat a mango/You’ll drink a straight scotch/You know I told you/You could be classy/So why did you have to be so nasty?” (Deliberate misprint).
Comment by Howling Wizard Shrieking Toad on 2009-07-10 02:46:41 +0000
Alright then — Which is worse, LCC/LCP or Goldsmith’s ?
I did two LCC/LCP Post Grad/MA courses, and had some excellent lecturers, who knew a lot and encouraged/expected pretty high standards from their students — but the lecturers on the whole, and many of the courses at LCC at Post Graduate/MA level are laughable, and most of the “lecturers” are utterly cretinous people, with no resepect for students, very little idea of their subject at a deeper level and no idea of how to communicate it.
With many of the lecturers at LCC/LCP, it most definitely is a case of “give us the course fee cash,you gormless c*\**t, andyou can f***k right off.”
I remember sitting through MA lectures and seminars that typically resembled O level classes ( I am totally serious) and one particular lecture on mysticism in art, in which the lecturer went on and on and on in whiny tones about the theories of “Madame Bratislava”…….What the f***k…..she was talking about Madame Blavatsky of course….
LCP/LCC may have been good in the late 70’s/early 80’s, when it introduced some interesting ideas into aspects of art, design, journalism,broadcast etc — but now, it is very corporate, an arrogant business ruled by the highest bidder and a “you pay we take you” principle.
It’s a pretty contemptuous/contemptible set up in many ways.
It still has some good lecturers though — I had about twenty different lecturers teaching me on my courses — and about three of them were excellent.
As for the rest…..
Comment by Rick Terror, the difficult to read spanish native speaker on 2009-07-10 04:01:25 +0000
Just wanted to say that I discovered a neoist that I didn’t know, which started his own branch of it (well, as everybody else…).
His name is Mark Bloch, and it seems that he made an interesting work about Ray Johnson.
Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-07-10 09:31:12 +0000
Howling Wiz – yeah, I suspect a lot of the teaching people get is not great… particularly in arts and humanities…
Rick – Mark Bloch is a great guy. An old mail artist who was involved in Neoism. His pad in the Lower East Side is one of the places I used to stay when I went to New York…..
Comment by vicky reeaal on 2009-07-10 09:39:33 +0000
I just thought paul seemed bored in tutorials. And so it began…
But I don’t know about whether he’s a good/bad tutor. But I think we were having a better time than all the other students and teachers. Well, until the world came crumbelling down around us.
Comment by vicky reeaal on 2009-07-10 09:42:32 +0000
oh and for anyone who wants to see a bit of my film, there’s only a short bit on guy hilton’s facebook page for the gallery.
Comment by Vicky Too on 2009-07-10 10:01:22 +0000
No offense intended Mr Trippy – just Walsering around.
Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-07-10 19:20:00 +0000
Never mind all that, why can’t I find this blog on Technorati? I don’t believe for a second it’s becasue it lacks ‘authority’!
Comment by vicky reeaal on 2009-08-19 17:58:12 +0000
Hi! Thought you might like to see my recent endeavors.
That woman who keeps removing my videos online (emma davidson) is Paul’s ex wife (paul=my teacher/love of life).
And she’s been threatening me with all sorts throughout this whole Paul thing.
So I’ve made her into a little porn star of sorts.
Well, it’s not fully blown porn by any means yet. But it will be.
I call it……lecktroporn.
(she calls herself lecktrogirl-u’ll be able to find her ALLL over the internet)
Comment by Jeff on 2009-09-10 13:11:27 +0000
Is she the Cindy Sherman of our time.
Comment by vicky reeaal on 2009-09-13 14:51:20 +0000
this ex wife has now got my blog banned so like I’m telling ya’ll go to :
It’ll be better in a few days but it’s what i have to work with to “keep the flame alive” atm.
No..I don’t like cindy sherman , I think she’s a bit of a twat tbh.
I mean…photos….how long’s that gonna be interesting fior?
Comment by vicky reeaal on 2009-09-23 14:30:47 +0000
YO! New blog: http://vickygoldblog2.wordpress.com/
yeah, yeah yeah xxxxx