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Yes I Am Blind, No I Can't See - 300 Words From London

Another 300 words from the London art scene and news of the most expensive biscuit in Regent's Park.

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by Lake, Editor, London for outsideleft.com
originally published: November, 2005
I discovered I had just paid £2.60 ($5) for one very small biscuit.

So has Outsideleft finally made it? We got press accreditation for Frieze, the gigantic contemporary arts fair in Regent's Park London. That meant that I got to hobnob with the world's art press and had my photograph taken while stroking my chin meaningfully.

When I first went in I forgot that I was still wearing my sunglasses. It was bright inside and my prescription glasses and sunglasses have the same frames so I hadn't noticed. I walked right by the security desk and was called back because they wanted to look inside my bag.

"I'm sorry I didn't see you" I said, and then, jovially, "I must be blind!"

The security guy seemed to think I'd said I was blind because he guided me through by the elbow and kind of released me into the fair.

I almost managed to walk around the whole thing without a single person talking to me. Not one. I could've been a big shot collector or curator. I might even have been writing for a "proper" journal. Didn't somebody want to impress me? Seemed not. I looked at a few things, read the descriptions on the wall, smelled the popcorn.

It might have been when I wandered into the VIP area. Not because I was a VIP but because I had mistaken it for an exhibit. It was like a mass re-enactment of Gilbert and George's Gordons Makes Us Drunk in there but without any of the humour.

Or it might have been when I discovered I had just paid £2.60 ($5) for one very small biscuit.

But after a while I think I did actually lose my sight. Everything began to look the same and all the little galleries became like a vast confusing multi-colored maze that I couldn't seem to find the way out of. I sat drinking coffee, admiring my very expensive biscuit whilst trying to pick out the exit on my floor plan.

Just as I was leaving a photographer from the Guardian asked me to pose in front of a picture and asked if I could just "stroke my chin and look at it closely. Like you're studying it." I am not sure if they used it in their newspaper. I hope not. That would be my critical credibility shot. This piece was very poor art. A blind man could see that.

Safe/Dot Painting, by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset

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Lake
Editor, London

the first journalism Lake ever had published was a history of Johnny Thunders for Record Collector magazine, since then he has written for publications including the Guardian, Dazed and Confused, the Idler and more recently, outsideleft.com as you have just seen.

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