Monday, 28 October 2013

Life's Luxuries (Occasionally for Less)

I've always loved the concept of the above installation by the Scandinavian artists Elmgreen & Dragset, which is plonked in the middle of the Texan desert (I so want to go.)  There's currently a work by them at the V&A, which, entitled Tomorrow,  fills the former Textile Galleries on level 3.  The rooms have been turned into what feels like a theatre set:  they have become the home of a fictional architect, the 75-year old Mr. Swann, who is facing bankruptcy.  What no one points out is that he could perhaps sell of some of his paintings, furniture or sculptures if he needs cash, as his house is full of pieces that the artists have borrowed from the V&A's collection.  I think that we're meant to delight in seeing them in a new context, but I spent most of the time wondering if it was a comment on materialism, along with fearing that Mr. Swann was topping himself in the bathroom (the sound of a running shower emanates from behind a door, his maid confirms that he spends a lot of time in there - ooh, another money-saving idea, dispense with the staff!)  Regardless of all the brilliant ideas I had for Mr. Swann to avoid the looming lack-of-readies situation, it did get me wondering about the questionable futility of acquiring beautiful things, if one is simply going to die (and actually there's no 'if' about that) and, prior to that, face financial ruin.

And then it was my birthday, and I received no end of wonderful presents, literally all my favourite things:  a cashmere cardigan, the newest Chanel nail colour, next year's Smythson's diary, Charbonnel & Walker champagne truffles (the closest you can get to heaven in a mouthful), Jo Malone treats, a Cressida Bell lamp, and, astoundingly, a new handbag, which I got to choose myself, and which is currently taking up an entire seat beside me on the 05 40 Eurostar.  (It transpires that if one wants to get to Paris first thing, one has to get up very early.)  So, I remembered the point of beautiful things, they make me happy.  And not just fleetingly happy, either:  I get a kick out of my new lamp everytime I see it.  My handbag is transportable so it makes me happy even out of the house.  Just knowing that I'm encased in cashmere and slathered in Jo Malone Red Roses moisturiser guarantees a good day.  I could continue, but I figure you probably get the picture.

Anyway, do go and see the Elmgreen & Dragset installation, because it's great. But, if you'd rather just go and purchase some beautiful things, I'm delighted to be able to tell you that it's the Luke Irwin (he of the stunning rugs) sample sale tomorrow, at Chelsea Town Hall.  It starts at 10am, and I'm beyond excited.

In the mean time, here are some images from Tomorrow:

Tomorrow, by Elmgreen & Dragset, is at the V&A until the 2nd January 2014.
The Luke Irwin sample sale is at Chelsea Town Hall, actually tomorrow, as in Wednesday 30th, from 10am.