Contextualising the contemporary artist within capitalist society: a case study

Tuesday 5 December 2006

(Fournier Street, Spitalfields. Evening. A TOUR GUIDE is leading a small CROWD on a Jack the Ripper tour. He stops to point out the sights.)

TOUR GUIDE
Here we see Christ Church, the masterpiece of Nicholas Hawksmoor, known as “the Devil’s Architect”. People have spent decades trying to decipher the occult symbolism behind its mysterious design.

CROWD
Aaah!

TOUR GUIDE
Opposite, we stand before the infamous Ten Bells pub, where the Ripper would select his unfortunate victims from among the ladies of the night.

CROWD
Oooh!

(Concluding his lurid peroration, the CROWD continues its walk up the street a little further, when the TOUR GUIDE stops again to call attention to another place of similarly sordid interest to the tour. He gestures at a doorway in a modest row of brick houses in the shadow of the church.)

TOUR GUIDE
And this house is the residence of the notorious modern British artist Tracey Emin, who paid one million pounds for the house several years ago.

CROWD
Whoah!

(On one of the upper storey windows, a wooden shutter suddenly bangs open. The head of TRACEY EMIN appears, leaning over the sill to yell into the street below.)

TRACEY EMIN
One POINT ONE million!

FINIS

Also published at Sarsaparilla.
  1. Your one-act drama is missing a crucial stage direction. Allow me to demonstrate:

    (On one of the upper storey windows, a wooden shutter suddenly bangs open. The head of TRACEY EMIN appears, leaning over the sill to yell into the street below.)

    TRACEY EMIN
    One POINT ONE million!

    Tracey upends a bucket of used tampons on the head of the tour guests before withdrawing inside and slamming the window.

    FINIS

  2. Pah! Tracey Emin's tampons are TOO GOOD for riff-raff like us! Maybe Charles Saatchi can afford a used tampon, but why blow a potential Turner Prize by dumping all those carefully saved tampons in a fit of pique?

    Besides, I hear she now hires assistants to apply their menses. Under her direction, of course.