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Clammie and I were sitting in the corner of Costamuchamoulah must-

seen cafe.  We know each other well enough to be rude, so I was deep

in Saturday’s FT and she was reading the Style section of some other

publication.

Hey, Clammie, I suddenly expostulated. Did you know that the Chapman

Brothers..?

As I said, we are impertinent to each other, so she cut me off

with: Who?

The Chapmans- Chapmen?-those guys called Jake and Dinos who do

joint artworks..

I thought that was Gilbert and George?

Book cover showing Gilbert (right) and George (left)

No, same kind of concept, but different people, I explained.

I think they both had connections with SpitalfieldsAnyway,

they..

Who?

The Chapmen…produced an artwork that depicted the 69th

sex position, in 2003.

Gosh!  Are there that many?! Sounds like Friday night in our house

when we  order a Chinese takeaway and I just say, ‘I’ll have a No. 69’.

Yeah, and if I’m there, I just say, ‘I’ll have what she’s having’.

We laughed like drains.  So immature!

But no one has made an artwork out of a takeaway, have they?

Clammie pondered aloud.

We could always get in first with an entry for the Turner Prize, I

suggested.  Clammie and Candia interviewed by Andrew Graham-

Dixon on The Culture Show. ‘Chow Really, Really Mean’.

Chow mein 1 by yuen.jpg

No use, Clammie pointed out.  Everyone would think you were related

to him and we had been promoted through nepotism.  It’s the Dixon

surname that’s the problem.  Candia Stuart doesn’t sound as artistic

as Candia Dixon-Stuart, so I don’t think you could just ditch it!

Oh well, what about these Chapman guys?

She had looked faintly annoyed at having been interrupted in her

investigation through some glossies to determine whether antlers

were passe, or not, in current interiors, as accent pieces.

Well, the brother called Jake mentions that he wrote a novel in 2008

called ‘The Marriage of Reason and Squalor’ and they are planning on

making it into a film.

So?  The title sounds like some relationships I know of.

I told you we could be rude to each other.  Actually, my house is tidier

than hers.

They’re planning on calling it ‘Chlamydia’, after the female character,

I clarified.

Hmm, well I’ve had that name for over thirty five years, she grumbled.

But no doubt my parents didn’t have the foresight to take out a

copyright.

I hope it won’t result in any embarrassment for you, I observed.  They

might be having a go at the comfortable classes, such as ourselves.

How so?

Jake is quoted here as saying:.. our psychodramas furnish the bourgeoisie

with the sense that their world is radical and dangerous and audicious.

Say that again, Clammie requested.  Is there such a word?  Doesn’t he

mean ‘audacious’?

It’s probably a subversion of language, I reflected.  Or a deliberate

lexical sabotage on the part of the FT. They probably don’t appreciate people

who say, as Dino does, that anyone who has surplus money at the end of the

week after feeding themselves and paying for their fuel is a criminal.

No, I suppose not.  I mean the FT takes them out to lunch and then they

insult the readership of their host’s How To Spend It magazine.

She crumpled up her paper napkin and wiped her mouth with it, then

rudely grabbed the article from me and started reading it for herself.

It also says that they are-quote-‘voyeurs of their own work, not authors of

its meaning’, she informed me.  It sounds as if you are in good company,

Candia.  Surely that’s what informs your creativity!

I should hope that my behaviour is not so audicious, I laughed. But I

seriously question whether many people- even in Suttonford- have surplus

money at the end of the month nowadays.

I, for one, don’t, agreed Clammie.  Lattes have gone up so much

recently. It makes me feel radical to be sitting here.

Perhaps you have the answer in your own hands, I suggested.

What? She looked puzzled.

They say that you just need to learn a few tricks about symbolic

acceleration to high value.  Take that napkin..once the film comes out,

with your name, you could sell your authentically crumpled and/or doodled

napkin to a dealer.  Picasso and others did it, so you’d be in a tradition.

You could frame it and claim that it had exophoric reference.

So, you reckon stags’ antlers may be on the way out?

Post-Christmas, I’d say so. Think trash with attitude.   Or sell them the

rights to your name.  Should keep you in cappuccinos for life.

Audicious! she concurred.

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