Less Is Never More, More or Less – TIH Column

More This Is Horror Column Goodness:

“About a decade and a half ago Keith Tyson, a conceptual artist and childhood friend of mine (who would later go on to win the Turner Prize), invited me to one of his shows. It was in a boutique gallery in a trendy part of West London and the place was filled with just the sort of preening, pseudish individuals you’d imagine attending these sort of events. Many were artists themselves and paraded about the gallery with a sense of overweening entitlement and a desperate need for attention.

After admiring Keith’s work for about half an hour and drinking a little too much of the complimentary wine, I fell into a conversation with a group of people. It was one of those earnest, self regarding conversations about the nature of art and the role it plays in every day life. The sort of conversation I’d had with many first year art students back when I used to hang out on campuses to score free drugs and sex. Frankly it was boring me rigid (and in all the wrong places).

To liven up the conversation I decided to change the topic. Cutting a floppy haired public school boy off mid-sentence I blurted: “Never mind all that, what do you reckon to Arsenal’s chances next week?” The young man looked down at the ground, shifted from foot to foot and sheepishly admitted that he didn’t know anything about football. The other people standing around in our little circle looked uneasy and confessed to knowing nothing about the sport either.

At that point there was a lull in the general hubbub of conversation and I heard a loud, boorish and rather drunken voice shout: “Don’t know anything about Football? Don’t Know Anything About Football?! What are you QUEER?!!” As the Gallery Owner escorted me to the door, under the glaring displeasure of everyone else present, I realised the voice had been mine.

As I wended my way back to the tube station it occurred to me that, as a then bisexual man who knew less about football than Amanda Knox knows about being a considerate flatmate, my utterance made me, without any doubt, the single most pretentious person in that gallery. If not the whole of West London. I can never be accused of not taking things to their excess …”

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