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By Moira Jeffrey (03 October, 2002, The Herald (Glasgow))
A member of the audience fainted at Bill Drummond's first performance this week. Not, sadly, with sheer excitement at being in the presence of the one-time pop maverick and prominent Tammy Wynette fan but due to the hot and bright gallery conditions. These days, Drummond comes across less the thrilling and subversive presence of his days in the music business as the KLF, and more a kind of eccentric rural uncle.
His current exhibition, book and performance How to be an Artist, as Drummond is the first to admit, tells you nothing of the sort. Instead, from the man famous for building a bonfire of banknotes on Jura, it's another project in which he seeks to dispense with disposable income.This time, it's $20,000, which he intends to bury in the centre of Iceland.
It is the final act in an ongoing shaggy dog story involving an arduous childhood adventure, a valuable artwork by Richard Long - which Drummond owned and has now cut into 20,000 pieces to be sold off at a dollar a time - and a journey across the UK drumming up sales and stories.
Drummond is amiable enough company, musing on his relationship with his sister, his foray into the art market, his apparent inability to spend his fortune by normal rock star methods (cars and cocaine habits), and the moment when he finally meets the man whose art he is destroying.
While this might have been a chance to explore the thorny dynamic between art, ownership, and hard cash, it's essentially a charming sales pitch, in front of a fond and indulgent audience.
Like money itself, Drummond's performance is fun while it lasts but, when it's gone, it's gone.
Exhibition until tomorrow, performance today, 8pm.
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