Pleasance, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** Fine parody of self-regarding conceptual artists

Dominic Coleman, formerly of fecund THEATRE [sic], bites the hand that nearly fed him for several years by lampooning his own former style.

Coleman is a familiar face to TV audiences this year from appearances in a slew of toe-curling commercials. But he's a clever, adept performer and writer, as this piece shows. Some visitors may take a while to realise that he is in fact taking the mickey, so close to the bone is his rendition of a naïve, precious "history maker" artist trying to create a performance-installation piece on his neighbouring housing estate.

The plot is straightforward: artist enlists a criminal druggie yob from the estate, who gradually takes over his house and family. It's the extent of artist Neil's denial of reality that provides the comedy: his continuing faith in the shamanic genius of Jim Morrison, or that doing a bonkers performance on the pavement outside his house is sufficiently "alpha-male" to entice his girlfriend back to him.

It's unlikely to cross over as a big mainstream success, but anyone who knows even a little about this kind of art from Turner Prize news stories or the like will find giggles galore. As Neil says, "People often criticise what they don't understand. Or like."

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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