Artist antics: Martin Creed’s test run at Tate Britain, Elton John's dance moves, and Eugene Leroy's penchant for Proust

We can reveal that the Creed’s commission for the Duveen Galleries, to be unveiled next month, is likely to startle visitors


Creed up and running in Millbank

When visiting Tate Britain earlier this year, Jetsam was greeted by the spectacle of a runner in full sports gear sprinting through the Duveen galleries. Hot on his heels came another equally energetic athlete, and then another, while hovering nearby with stopwatch in hand and a faintly furtive air was artist Martin Creed (right). These strange goings on were in fact a top-secret road test for Creed’s Duveen Galleries Commission, which is unveiled at the end of next month and ushers in a new era of annual projects in the space. Timing is crucial in this offering from Mr Creed, the 2001 Turner Prize winner (whose last intervention at Millbank was the notorious The Lights Going on and Off), with the piece consisting of runners pelting at top speed through the Duveen Galleries at 30-second intervals every day during opening hours. While visitors may find their tranquility shattered by this high-velocity encounter, they can at least be relieved that Creed has not produced live versions of his two most recent films, which involved a procession of people vomiting and a close-up of a couple having slow-motion sex.

(Not) seeing double

'Seeing is Deceiving,’ the title of Alison Jackson’s recent show at Hamiltons Gallery, gained extra layers of deception with the revelation that the nifty lenswoman had further complicated her cunningly staged scenarios of döppelganger celebrities by occasionally using the real thing. Apparently this time the chubby popstar cavorting with our monarch really is Sir Elton John while the saturnine figure inscribing an intimately-placed ‘P’ below the bikini line of Paris Hilton is indeed Tom Ford—although their playmates are still stand-ins. Then there is the fact that the artist herself also likes to metamorphose into some familiar figures, including what she insists is a very convincing Osama Bin Laden (“I dye my skin, pluck my eyebrows and stick teats from baby’s dummies up my nose”) while perhaps less surprisingly the attractive blonde artist can also be a very passable Marilyn Monroe. When quizzed about the true identity of a saucily explicit, splay-legged Marilyn, who in one piece is being ogled by what appears to be a genuine Duke of Edinburgh (pictured), Ms Jackson just blushed and refused to divulge any more information.

Hats off to Isa Genzken

Spiritedly iconoclastic artistic grande dame Isa Genzken is renowned for her stylish headgear, and last Christmas she received a new addition to her collection when her London gallery Hauser & Wirth presented her with a ceremonial bearskin busby, perhaps in homage to the guardsmen stationed round the corner from the gallery in St James’s. But it seems that what goes around comes around, for in her current H&W show (until 17 May) La Genzken has put the red horsehair plume from her Christmas gift to a new creative use, positioned provocatively between the thighs of a masked mannequin (above) where it forms the focus of a piece entitled Geburt (or “Birth”). Sadly, the artist declined to wear the rest of her gift at the opening, opting to sport one of her natty trademark baseball caps instead.

Curtains for the Colony Room?

Howls of outrage accompany the news that one of the art world’s most cherished institutions, the legendary Colony Room drinking club in London’s Soho, may have to close after nearly 60 years of lubricating the muses of the great, the good and the bibulous. The Colony’s wide and devoted membership—which includes Damien Hirst, Dan MacMillan, Sarah Lucas and Paul Simonon—were aghast to learn last month that the landlord had applied to terminate the club’s lease and that an agreement had been struck with Colony manager and licensee Michael Wojas to shut the Dean St club at the end of December. “You can’t just close down a club without consulting any of its members! The whole thing stinks!” fulminates Tartan film boss and Colony member Hamish McAlpine. At the time of writing, members were hatching a plan to ensure that future generations can while away many more hours in the Colony’s deliciously dingy little green room. Watch this space…

Waltzing at Michael Werner

The most refined evening in recent memory came courtesy of the perennially elegant Michael Werner Gallery who managed to persuade acclaimed classical pianist Stephen Hough to perform in the Georgian townhouse which is currently acting as the gallery’s London outpost. Mr Hough treated the select gathering to virtuoso renditions of waltzes by Chopin, Debussy and Liszt in a programme devised to complement the broodingly impasto paintings of French artist Eugene Leroy, who died in 2000 aged 90. As a normally reticent Michael Werner later revealed, it was an especially appropriate choice of music for an artist who apparently liked to immerse himself both in tradition and modernity, and who often did so by listening to the music of Debussy in his studio whilst having his naked models read him Proust.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Martin Creed’s test run at Tate Britain'