Edinburgh Fringe: Double Art History

Double Art History was described as the entirety of modern art in an hour given by one of the Tate’s directors, Will Gompertz, who had recently been to comedy classes to help his public speaking skills. Even if it wasn’t funny, I was still keen to go as it sounded right up my street.

We were told to line up in pairs before being marched to a seminar room in the Chrystal Macmillan Building. Each chair had a drawing pad and two pens on it, and once sat down we heard a telephone conversation between an art teacher who could not teach this lesson, and a supply teacher. Gompertz, acting as the supply teacher, walked in and thus proceeded as if we were a class taking double art history.

The first thing we had to do was draw a penis in one of the modern art styles listed on the white board. This followed with “can I see your penis?” questions. I fear the family who had brought their young children along didn’t quite enjoy this as much as the rest of us!

We got a whistle-stop tour of the art movements involving costumes, singing La Marseillaise, reading insane Dadaist poems and a failed (but amusing because of this) attempt at automatism. There was a break in the middle where two people threw sweets out to the class, but the woman on our side went so insane we had to duck in fear of being knocked out by 100mph celebrations. At the end we got a 10 question exam in which Steven and I passed with flying colours.

All in all, not a bad attempt at comedy for an art director! He had a really engaging lecturing voice and I learnt quite a bit about modern art. Worth going to if you are interested in art and like a bit of silliness! Double Art History is on at 5.50pm at Underbelly’s Hullabaloo Box Office in George Square Gardens.

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