Men with a mission: Bill Drummond (left) and Mark Manning
industry. he set up the K Foundation with Jimmy Cauty. Their mission? To probe the link between money and art in the most bizarre ways possible.
Firstly. Rachel Whiteread earned the title of Britain’s worst artist and double her Turner- award cash. Courtesy of K. Next. a squad of journalists were transported to the Western Isles to witness the torching of the dosh and finally Cauty and Drummond daubed a G-reg Nissan Bluebird with a painted contract declaring the closure of the K Foundation for a period of 23 years before pushing the
motor into the waters ‘We’ve yet to think of the practicalities. We’ll have to cadge a lift or something,’
Now, Drummond has teamed up with Manning to publish accounts of their travels. The first of the Bad Wisdom trilogy The Lighthouse At The Top Of The World describes their voyage. along with roadie Gimpo. to place a photograph of Elvis at the pole in some obscure attempt at setting world peace in motion. On the way they meet a gruesome cast of characters such as The Blind Chainsaw Fishermen of Finland and the Nazi Kung Fu Sex Bitches with Rottweilers amid a torrent of rape and ultra-violence.
And lots of putrid farting. ‘
‘Before a book is published by someone like Penguin it has to be insured against all sorts of things.’ notes Drummond. ‘A barrister had to
read through it for libel and obscenity so things had to be changed. mainly the ages of the girls involved. To make them into legal age made it smutty. It was when they were five or six-year- olds it was just so grating. it was nothing to do with sexual fantasy — it was just so. oooommmmmghhh. Once they were students. it enters into the world of titillation.’
Manning concurs. ‘Before it was just so obscene that you’d have to be Fred West to get frisky about it.’ he concludes. ‘To write it we sat down in different houses and wrote an account of the journey. and a girl called Sally Agarwal. who we owe a great debt to. took her scissors and her Sellotape. chopped it up on her word processor and made a completely different book out of the whole thing.’
And what now of the third Zen Master. Gimpo? ‘Gimpo’sjust got back from a Helsinki ﬁlm festival.’ states Manning. ‘He was feted as an avant-garde hero with his film of the K Foundation burning the million quid. They took him seriously and he also copped off with Tilda Swinton.’
As part of Glasgow’s National Review of
Live Art. the pair will read from Bad Wisdom. Their invitation came from nation. a former collaborator with Drummond in the K Foundation whose sister — part one explores the loss of the female and originates from the performer’s experience of losing his mother. His modus operandi is the act of near- drowning. There are also rumours of a possible guest appearance by Jimmy Cauty. who can be relied on to come up with something spectacular.
Pushing yourself to physical and spiritual limits links nation and the Drummond- Manning partnership. The latter pair’s journey up the Congo meant dealing with the threat from disease. cannibals and the Zaircan dictatorship. They may have been on the hunt for Lucifer there and world peace at the North Pole but they insist there is an even greater purpose to all this. The separation of the factual from the truth.
‘The whole lot is reaching for the truth.’ insists Drummond. ‘We saw some of the factual truth. We met a guy with a video camera on a train and he didn’t know who the fuck we were. He got back to Helsinki and read about this guy in a kilt being banned from a bar for wearing women’s clothing and he realised who we were. We met him again two weeks ago and it turned out he was some famous film/art guy over there and I’d forgotten this but we had told him we were merchant seamen and we were Buddha. Christ and Krishna. We were sent this footage he had shot and saw the brutal reality of it. That was the fact but it wasn’t the truth.’
So what of the chances of a return to the music biz? The truth. please. ‘On a personal level, I didn’t want to do anything musically until I got to a point in life where it was nothing to do with youth culture,’ admits Drummond. ‘He wants to sing about the colostomy bag blues,’ offers Manning. ‘Or do the lumbago boogie.’
‘That’s not what I want to do.’ denies
Drummond. ‘He’s trying to be funny.’ Bill Drummond — in search of the last laugh? Bill Drummond and Mark Manning will read from Bad Wisdom at the Arches, Glasgow on Thurs 3] Oct, 10pm. The book is published in paperback by Penguin at £6.99.
BILL DRUMMOND FEATURE
NATIONAL REVIEW OF LIVE ART
The National Review of Live Art is at various venues in Glasgow from Tuesday 22 October to Sunday 3 November. Call 0141 553 15!! for a free brochure.
Entrance to events at The Arches. other than the nation performances. is by Day Ticket only. priced £6 (£4). A Day Ticket will give you access to all performances. installations. video screenings. talks and the Festival Club at The Arches that day. capacity permitting. The number of Day Tickets is strictly limited. so book early.
All tickets are available from TicketLink. OI4I 227 55l l. or from the Ticket Centre. Candleriggs. Glasgow. Mon—Sat l().30am-6.30pm.
I sister - part one Thurs 24-Sun 27 Oct. 8pm. £6 (£3). The Arches. Midland Street. Glasgow. 0|4l 22l 9736. A performance installation in which nation truly immerses himself in exploring the absence of the desired Mother/Lover/Sister by pullingjust short of drowning himself in a tank. This British premiere is sure to be both harrowing and exhilarating.
I Every Blank Cries Shame Fri 25/Sai 26 Oct. 8pm. £5 (£2). CCA. 346—354 Sauchiehall Street. Glasgow. O|4I 332 752i. Donna Rutherford creates six characters. including a sexually repressed preacher and a daydreaming five-year- old. in search of happiness. After the success of her Ochone at I993's NRLA. this is Rutherford‘s latest work receiving its Scottish debut.
I Alasdair Cameron Memorial Lecture: Bette Bourne Wed 30 Oct. 6pm. £2 (£l ). CCA. 346—354 Sauchiehall Street. Glasgow. 0141 332 752i. Founder of Bloolips "Theatre. Bourne delivers a lecture on his experiences of gay liberation. life in a drag commune and Quentin Crisp.
I Ruby Worth and Dominic Waxing lyrical Fri 1 Nov. l()pm. The Arches. Midland Street. Glasgow. 0141 22l 9736. Choreographer Ruby Worth leads the cross-dressing combo. Both funny and angry. the band have performed with Irvine Welsh and James Kelman.
I Space/A Man With Guts The Arches. Midland Street, Glasgow. 0l4| 221 9736. Sat 2 Nov. 9.30pm. Belfast's John Byme creates a double- bill of monologues which dissect The Troubles through stand-up. theatre and performance.
\ nation: water new
The List 18-3! 0?: l99615