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Lies, damned lies, and Darwin tours - click opera
February 2010
 
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Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 01:11 pm
Lies, damned lies, and Darwin tours



As lawyers, bankers and lots of other professionals know, lying for a living is nice work if you can get it. Here's a clip of my unreliable tour yesterday of the Schirn Kunsthalle's Darwin exhibition -- part of the Playing the City programme.

31CommentReplyShare


(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)

A nice crowd!

Could you give a genealogy for this tour guide thing?

I can't help seeing it, at the moment, as situationist tactics tamed, defanged. A verbal detournement. Fun if nothing else.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)

Whether it's in the books I've been writing or these tours, I'm toiling humbly in the tipsy vineyard of tall talers like Lucian - Aesop - Leopardi - Schwob - Borges - Calvino. As a specific art world thing, though, it gets described as "Relational Aesthetics" (Tino Sehgal was also in this Playing the City show, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, two big names in Relational Aesthetics). Different eras have called it different things; in the late 80s and early 90s Andrea Fraser was doing stuff like this and calling it Institutional Critique. My view is that you can't call it that when the institution is sponsoring it. It's more like "poetry in the workplace" projects, actually -- like when a company appoints a storyteller-in-residence.

Edited at 2009-04-27 05:03 pm (UTC)


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)

To think they fought to the bitter end and all the winner sporned was a lousy ureliable tour guide desperate to be an"Artist" and ending up a stand up comic. Better luck next time Momus. When you doing the comedy store?. I can see the Sacha Baron Cohen influence coming through by the way.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)

Comedy is one of the greatest art forms. Do you watch Reeves and Mortimer and find yourself saying, 'I can see the Robert Filliou influence coming through'?

Or maybe you just have a moment of clarity and attempt to see beyond all those unhelpful artificial boundaries.


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC)

That look is either Lynn Redgrave in "Georgy Girl" or Rita Tushingham in "A Taste of Honey." Howsoever, I enjoyed this ultra-altermodern standup/falldown comedy schtick!

The Extinct Dodo


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)

I took a quick look round the show on Saturday and made a page of notes, with basic scenarios and stopping points worked out. In the heat of the moment, of course, I embroidered some new details in, but also forgot some of the best lines -- I was going to do a whole thing about how Darwin had reversed "ontogeny repeats phylogeny", discovering that when an individual discovers a new hobby, he condemns all future generations to have that hobby -- he changes, in other words, his species irrevocably. But I had enough on my hands negotiating the rooms in such a way that the other tours (the "reliable" ones) didn't clash with mine. It became, in fact, "survival of the fittest tour". I had a natural advantage in the form of the bull horn.

Edited at 2009-04-27 04:57 pm (UTC)


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thomascott
thomascott
Thomas Scott
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)

Great!
Does the unreliable tour guide ever succeed in doing a hook-line-and-sinker on an audience member?
One would have to be a little impaired to fall for these skits, but presumably, on occassion, the questions asked must indicate that you have a faller.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)

No, I prefer to be far-fetched than to be credible. Credibility means you have to hug the shore, and I'm always keen to say "Darwin got syphilis from a green ant" or "He became a successful theme park operator then exploded in a hotel room in Paris".


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bibble
bibble
S0n of N00n
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)

so good


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corlimey
corlimey
Emily Gera
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)

Brilliant


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me.jdcasten.info
me.jdcasten.info
Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
Anti-Social Darwinism

This was terrific! I cracked up with the lines, “Darwin was no saint; in fact he was a murderer,” announced in front of the shelves of skulls—I like the way Momus follows through on the twisted logic.

Speaking of the relationship of comedy to art, I’ve wondered about the (possibly dangerous) relationship between comedy and politics too; you can stretch the boundaries of acceptability quite a bit when joking—sometimes highlighting the hypocrisy of certain taboos.


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Apr. 28th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
Re: Anti-Social Darwinism

makes me think of berlusconi, somehow..


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halfelectronic
halfelectronic
Tue, Apr. 28th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
Lies, damned lies, and Darwin tours

That was fun, Nick I wish tour guides were like this around here.
certainly there'd be more visitors!

'just like MJ is entitled to like children' - LOL

Cheers
Thiago

P.S.: love the hairdo.


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obliterati
obliterati
Night of the Living Dave
Wed, Apr. 29th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)

Have been enjoying your posts a great deal lately. Of all the internet playing with my head yours has been the funniest.


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fishwithissues
fishwithissues
jordan fish
Wed, Apr. 29th, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)

is that a translator in the background?


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(Anonymous)
Thu, May. 7th, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)

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pwvjgxccmsn
pwvjgxccmsn
Fri, Jun. 19th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)

Everybody lies everyday. There's no question.


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