P&J Column 7.12.17

Crouching Leopard, White Elephant

J Fergus Lamont, arts critic and author of ‘Fit Like, Cinders?? a post Chekovian analysis of the Inverurie Panto’

As the year draws to a close, I think we can all agree that Aberdeen has recently excelled itself in terms of important cultural events. In recent weeks especially there has been a plethora of praise–worthy and innovative performance art in the city, mostly thanks to the local Dadaist collective who go by the mysterious sobriquet “The Council’.

We have been privileged to see these enfants terrible at their most mischeviously provocative; announcing the end of Youth Festival Funding in the middle of a Scottish Festivals conference (‘Stunning’- Evening Express); simultaneously closing the Art Gallery and Music Hall for the duration of the year in which Aberdeen bid to be a ‘City of Culture’ (‘Delicious’ –The Press & Journal). They’ve shown a tongue in cheek genius for ironic situationist installations the like of which has not been seen since the KLF burned 1 million pounds in a bothy on Jura.
Most recently, as temperatures plunged, fresh warnings of snow and ice coincided with the opening of an ice cream parlour in Marischal Square. Heralding that, far from the commercial white elephant predicted by some pundits, the entire edifice is a glorious temple to the avant-garde. With this first installation open, I seized the chance to explore in detail, and found myself applauding the uncompromising boldness of its brutalist architecture, its many highly evocative empty rooms, and the powerful way it had been built hard up against a 16th century listed building. Above all, I appreciated Andy Scott’s magnificent sculpture, ‘Poised’ – a steel leopard, perched atop a 50 foot pole. This was a stunning piece, though surprisingly figurative in the midst of so much abstraction. In an effort to join it, contextually, to it’s surroundings I used it in a tribute to the Belgian performance artist Mikes Poppe, who, as you will know, recently had to be cut free after spending 19 days chained to a marble block which he claimed was symbolic of “The Burden of History”.  Thus, I have manacled myself to the Marischal Square leopard in a devised piece of contemporary performance art which I have entitled ‘The burden of local government’. In this work, the leopard now becomes a powerful metaphor for our public authority:  far from the reach of the ordinary people, precariously balanced, and above all, hollow.

After 12 hours in the manacles, my foot having gone purple, I wept.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who never rejects an approach

It looks like the writing is on the ball at Pittodrie, with the end of an earring in sight. The vouchers have been circling for a while, and after weeks of speculuming, it looks like the gaffer is on his way to The Rangers after they found theirselves without no one who can manage.

Whether Degsy goes or doesn’t go, the whole affair has more than a whiff of Dysyntery about it, or some other soup opera like that. It reminds me of when I was at Kincorth Academy, and my pal Dunter Duncan fancied the pants off Tracy Fowlie. Everybody knew it, but because she was going with Spud Matheson, Dunter never done nothing about it for months. Eventually, he plucked up the courage to ask Spud if he could muscle in on his bird.

I’ll never forget what happened next, which is a lot more than Dunter can say, thanks to the concussion what Spud gived him. Anyway, Tracy felt so sorry for poor dunted Dunter that she, tendered to his wounds and they ended up together. At least until she left school and gave Dunter the dunt after meeting that trainee solicitor with the Golf Gti in Oscars.

And that’s exactly what will happen with McInnes. Either he leaves us now for The Rangers, or he stays for a while and then he leaves us later for some big club down south, like Aston Villa. Say what you like about loyalty and commitment, but it’s unenviable, as sure as death and taxis.

What Dons fans should be really concerned about isnt that McInnes may go, but that he’s the first manager that we’d be sad to lose since Fergie. Will it be another 30 odd years before the Dandies get someone else decent to sit in the managerial hot tub?

See the best of the Flying Pigs live in ‘Now That’s What I Call Methlick!’ At HMT June 2018. Tickets available now. A rare Christmas present for onyb’dy ye like. Or even onyb’dy ye dinna like.