Jeremy Deller throws a raucously drunken party; Marc Quinn’s blow-up Alison Lapper is in the critics’ crosshairs, while money grows on trees. Two theories emerged
The opening of Jeremy Deller’s British pavilion for the Venice Biennale was celebrated with a big, raucous party on the Isola delle Vignole: lethal cocktails and dinner followed by dancing to the wonderful Melodians Steel Band, who also provide the soundtrack of Bowie, A Guy Called Gerald, and Vaughan Williams in the film in Deller’s show.
One young lad was having such a great time he stripped off his kit and danced on the tables naked. “Who is that?” people kept asking, in a state of mild shock. Two theories emerged: one that he was part of the Austrian Gelitin artists’ collective; the other that he was part of the posse from Palazzo Peckham (a biennale project run by young artists from south-east London). Either way, everyone relaxed about the display of flesh and bits when it was revealed as possible Art with a capital A.
There is good news, by the way, for those who are intrigued by Deller’s pavilion but can’t get to it before it closes on 24 November. The exhibition will – a first for UK presentations in Venice – be restaged in Britain, starting in January at the William Morris Gallery in London and then travelling to Bristol and Margate.