Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Irvine Welsh and Damien Hirst

Black Book Magazine took a page out of the Interview Magazine school of having celebrities interview celebrities. So delish. This time they came up with literary bad boy Irvine Welsh, and pretty boy art fraud Damien Hirst. Get these two poster boys for studied (air quotes) "rebellion" and who knows what comes next.

Anyone who has read this blog for a while or has seen my postings around the blogosphere knows what I think of Modernist frauds like Hirst, but this idea is interesting. If you get a visual artist and a writer in a room together to hash things out: what do you get? Well, drug conversation, of course. Pshaw. Why didn't I think of that? Reason #768 why the Bush red states will never understand the liberal blue states:

Irvine Welsh: I was interested in one of the things you said one time -- that you want people to react to art the way that they react to medicine.

Damien Hirst: Well, I think art gets boring pretty fast, and to give it relevance today is pretty difficult; you've got to catch people out visually. So I think you're always looking for that, and I thought that pills were a brilliant little form, better than any minimalist artist. They're all designed to make you buy them.

Irvine Welsh: This is the thing; there's a design concept for everything, whereas before it was really just functional.

Damien Hirst: I mean, pills do come out of flowers, plants, things from the ground, and it makes you feel good, you know, to just have a pill to feel beauty.

IW: That's why when (Ecstasy) came out people took such care to design them, putting Mitsubishi logos and stuff on them.

DH: Brilliant.

IW: Yeah, they were great. You just fucking couldn't beat them. I've stopped taking them now, but I aim to actually start again in a couple of years time.

DH: Yeah, I've thought about it actually; I've got loads of mates and they're still doing the Charlie (coke), and you just go, 'You're fucking mad, it's better to have the E's, at least you have a laugh -- you're fucking miserable on Charlie.'

IW: I used to enjoy the hangover and come downs to write, that was always a good time for me, but what I've found just over the last 5 years is that it's really changed a lot. I used to feel this nastiness and strangeness, and I used to really attack that feeling, and fight through it, almost, on the keyboard, but now I just want to be in bed and feel sorry for myself. That's the only reason I've stopped.

DH: I think it's a young man's game, it's really attractive on youngsters, but when you get older you just look like a miserable old cunt.

(Ed Note: At this point the conversation veers off onto the subject of Irvine Welsh's hobby of amateur boxing, but, wouldn't you know it, the conversation veered back to the subject of drugs)

DH: ... I think it's better to get beaten up in a boxing ring than to take E.

IW: I want something new to come along that's going to blow me away the same way that Ecstasy did.

Black Book: Mushrooms, that's the big thing now.

DH: I can't eat them now, either.

Irvine Welsh: I can?t take acid now thats really a young mans drug. I think as soon as you become aware of your mortality in your late 20s, you just leave that fucking stuff alone, its too much of a tax on the brain, but mushrooms, because youre not up there for eight hours, but an hour or two at the most, I can just about do. I haven't for a while, but if the opportunity arose and it was a nice hot day ...