Saturday 1st July 2017 – £13
Joined by Sinead Flament
So that’s his name! To say I’ve seen that print on the walls of so many disappointing house parties, his name shouldn’t be a surprise every time I see it. But that’s why I do all this; as damage limitation on my own stupidity.
With the British Museum, you’re always getting a popular exhibition, and this was no exception. I first went on my birthday, and the first free ticket available was ten days later. Happy birthday to me.
Given the ten day wait, and queue outside, things were frustrating if not inauspicious. With this kind of build up, I was expecting my jaded tertiagenarian brain to be blown with the ebullient waves of optimism. Yet, the queue moved slowly.
The exhibition was fine, it was nice to see such an iconic image, and that’s the only reason this isn’t a one-star review. For there was something far more scabrous. As if in tribute to Hokusai’s native Tokyo, we were crammed inside like passengers on a rush-hour bullet train.
There was a point where people were queued up, breast touching the back of those in front, moving very slowly forward. This is NOT what art is about, British Museum. All this does is highlight your greed and desperation. This is money-grubbing, quantity over quality, pleonectic shit from the land’s flagship museum that I have loved so dearly in the past. I learnt absolutely nothing because of my discomfort and I spent shy of twenty minutes in that sweatshop of a fucking gallery.
I know I’m duty bound to get under the skin of an exhibition, but why should I queue up like so much cattle? This wasn’t an exhibition about discovery. I know pretty much nothing about the subject that I didn’t know before, not because I’m not interested, because the British Museum can’t resist cramming us in like sardines and hoping our collective middle class pretention leaves our critical faculties disengaged. They know what’s going on, I heard the gallery assistants talking about it. Two-thirds of the amount would’ve been tight, but that was a fucking joke. I am not queuing up, moving at a prisoner’s pace in a poorly ventilated room for anything I’m paying for that’s not a rollercoaster. Pissed me off, that did.