It began as a blog about completing a thesis, it became a blog about everything but completing a thesis, it ended with a complete thesis.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A minor outburst - most unbecoming of Kenneth, the oaf.

So, the deal was that I’d land at Kenneth’s early Sunday afternoon, we’d then trog down to Tate Britain. There, and really - ‘what chance of this!’ - we’d bump into none other than the pleasantly gadding-about Ian and Foxy Chloe, and Gabriela! Hurrah what! But no…

A Kenneth-shaped text lands (as I’m on the train!… oh so many expletives deleted), and it says: ‘Have headed off to the gallery, meet you down there at 4pm, hope your bags aren’t too heavy…’ Yes, it was brief and it was flat. I immediately called him to find out what was happening. Couldn’t get through. Peeved – it’s fair to say – I headed straight to the gallery, half-thinking ‘I hope I don’t interrupt anything!’ (((Shudder)))

I land at the gallery an hour early, and deposit bags at the cloakroom (indeed, a glad tiding). Still, Kenneth is unreachable. Okay-. So I text Ian, and ask where they are. Not around, but meeting us at the gallery at 4pm is the answer to where he and Foxy are (at 3pm). The shit. So, without a Kenneth (and related entourage) in sight, I do the Turner Prize thing. Speaking of which:-


Simon Starling – most intellectually engaging.
Darren Almond – most beautiful / relaxing.
Gillian Carnegie – straight-edge subculture.
Jim Lambie – colourful, but without hooks.

I’d plump for Starling or Almond, though I think that it’ll go to Carnegie – one in the eye to the mockers of the Turner Prize normative radicals.


Anyway, like a scene from some modern adaptation of that classic western… er-… Shane?… we have four guns blaze over the horizon - or at least into the Tate café area - at exactly 4pm. All seem well and chatty, having coincided on the walk from the underground station (exactly who originally walked with whom is not clear). I note that Kenneth has a slightly distant look (beyond the standard oaf look). Maybe the others didn’t spot this, but I did. As it was my first meeting with Gabriela, I had to ensure that I didn’t seem blithely disregarding. Kindly, she seemed a chappess around whom ‘blithe’ would rarely be the spirit. Captivating. Anyway, mentioning that I’d done the show already, they say they’ll quickly skip round then we can grab food before Ian and Foxy head off for an evening drive back to Cornwall. As they all depart exhibitionwards, Kenneth makes a polite nose-powdering excuse for hanging back. Soon, he privately confers:

Ken: There’s nothing doing with Gabriela.
Shane: Ah. What happened?
Ken: Nothing happened. There’s just nothing doing.
Shane: Why?
Ken: (Irritated pause) It’s just not right. There is no big ‘why’.
Shane: What does that mean?
Ken: Fucking hell! There’s just nothing doing, ok.

Indeed, ‘Step away from the edge’ thinks I. Kenneth stomps off exhibitionwards, and I’m left guessing ‘Euro brush-off’. As I'd be around for a further 48 hours I decide that we can return to this moody blue later, and so we did…