David Thompson


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April 07, 2015



According to ArtNews, De Cupere is “incorporating scent into the aesthetic experience.”

I don't think that word means what they think it means.


I don’t think that word means what they think it means.

Well, quite. It’s not at all obvious where the beauty is and none of the people involved seem interested in making something beautiful, or even something that’s agreeably diverting. They seem much more interested in trying to transgress some imagined stuffy audience, what with the references to “sweat, sperm, spittle, nose drops, blood,” etc.

If you squint, it’s a bit like a really incompetent pop video, but without the music and choreography, or editing, or anything to repay attention. As I said at the time, De Cupere has taken naked dancers, fetishism, fart jokes and what I assume is an allusion to cocaine – for some, the basic elements of a good night out - and made something as flat and tedious as a thing can be. Something taxpayer-subsidised art is apparently very good at.

Kevin B

"for some, the basic elements of a good night out"

Ahh! If only I were young again.


So I watched as much of the 'Sweat' thing as I could bear then I followed a link there and found Doris Uhlich.


You've ruined my lunch hour.


You’ve ruined my lunch hour.

Oh, I dunno. Some people might like to watch a big-boned woman with mad hair throwing talc about and tickling her bum cheeks.


For a small minority of young men in her audience, I suspect Doris Ulrich may well represent their first experience of a real, live, naked woman and that this may inform their tastes for a lifetime. I try not to look.

R. Sherman

Point of order: How is Decca Aitkenhead aware of the sexual proclivities of Jamaican plantation owners in the 18th Century? Is there a book? A BBC documentary or something? Or is this something made up on the fly because a deadline was approaching?

Tim Newman

Sweat is a performance piece by Peter De Cupere, choreographed by fellow Belgian Jan Fabre, in which five dancers spend fourteen minutes rolling about and jumping up and down - naked, obviously - while attempting to fill their transparent plastic overalls with all manner of body odour.

I think Jackass already did this. IIRC it had the cameraman throwing up.



Meanwhile, a guardianista wants teachrs to indoctrinate their pupils with a new, open, unbranded, ecological, inclusive [insert as appropriate]..attitude to periods. Couldn't learning to read and write take priority?

Spiny Norman

If that’s not a good night out, I don’t know what is.

This still reminds me of adolescent boys rating each other's farts. :-/

Watcher In The Dark

"When several students complained to the professor about the course’s politicised content, they were informed that their previous education had left them “brainwashed” on matters relating to race and social justice."

Thus, with a neat flick of the intellectual wrist (in a manner of speaking) the professor has the student by the short and curlies. If the student accepts what they teach he or she is being 'corrected' and if they object to the tedious claptrap they are clearly 'in need of correction.'

Sort of an academic damned if you do and damed if you don't.


with a neat flick of the intellectual wrist (in a manner of speaking)

There’s an awful lot of wrist action in modern academia.


The money shot is when you're pilloried for being a pretentious tosser and afterwards declare absolute vindication.

Enjoy the ride

Please spend some of that capitalism on *your favourite vice* David.


Please spend some of that capitalism on *your favourite vice* David.

Bless you, sir. May you never be short of deodorant.

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