Tonight I went along in the rain to join the free event for which I’d booked: This was David Bailey (where have you been for the last 50 years? Oh you were born in east London? Oh, that explains the revised interest) in conversation with the respected Tim Marlow.
At 6.30pm the queue was massive stretching up the entry hall of Stratford Theatre right into the bar and doubling up on itself. Disgraceful. Customers in the bar area had to eat their meals with us hanging over them and table attendants were harassed to the extreme. I certainly wasn’t feeling special on a special night out. The queue, made up of mostly white 50+ somethings, moved at snail pace as each ticket holder was ticked off one by one. Antiquated. What happened to pulses and bar-codes?
The Mayor of Newham , Mr Wales, welcomed us and introduced The Ideas Olympiad, a partnership between TRSE (Theatre Royal ) and Newham Council as a strategy to get youth interested and involved in the arts in Newham. Good luck with that.
On came Bailey aka David Bailey, the most famous photographer in the world.(Really?) Tim and he sat far apart on uncomfortable looking low sofas.
From the first swear word the conversation was pointing downwards, slipping into mire. Bailey said every filthy word except cu*t tonight and here was a project to encourage youth to be part of the arts scene. It was absolutely awful. Tim Marlow held it all together despite obvious squirming. It was awful. Bailey was crude and pompous, arrogant and useless. There was nothing much about his skills and how he could show another generation the worth of filming except to say about the joys of filming porno. We heard about his erections and masturbation, fornicating and lusting , his East Ham schooldays, his love of Warhol, his disdain for Dali, his commissions and experiences with celebs. But those stories were his past glories and a missed opportunity to tell us about the thrust of 60s London. Perhaps Tim should have manipulated the converstion more. He tried to keep a modicum of class and cultural intellectualism but Bailey needed to be watched and contained.
If kids were on stage talking badly like Bailey the curtain would have come down. The difference is that millionaires can speak how they like without respect for themselves, their conversation partner or their life-long fans.
This should have been a rehearsed converstion so that Marlow could have a real chance to elicit information for those of us in the auditorium who realised they were intruders at someone else’s party. It could have been edited and shown with some photos on the wasted screen on the stage.
Bailey touched on his despising of “conceptual shit”. Good to make money out of it though and anyway explain what conceptual shit is! A whole industry in photography is built on the analysing of conceptual imagery.
You know what Bailey? Your arrogance was showing like it did years ago. You exude the stuff,
TRSE you failed big time tonight. You should have done your homework on the guy. Not every son of the east is its ambassador.
I was surprised that Bailey loves change. He has views on digital cameras: However taking snaps and getting immediate results isn’t in Bailey’s opinion the essence of filming people and places. You have to have a connection .
Spotted Melvin Murray in the audience looking stoical I’d say.
Bid hoo ha in Westfield at 9.30pm as a thief was thrown to the ground by security. Eh, the tourists have much to photograph. All the shops are flogging off old stock ready for August Autumn stock which will be at special Olympic prices, I’ll be bound. Still Westfield was never for the real Stratford people.