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2020 Vivienne’s Diary

by Emmart


Frieze Art Fair. I agreed to give a talk to open the fair. Why, when I deny any status other than “rubbish” to so-called modern art? Benedikt, P.A. to Andreas and me came to me three days in a row asking please give me an answer. Yet he had only just told me that my friend Gregor was asking me to do it. Gregor didn’t mind my opinion because he thinks what I say is interesting. He needed an answer now because he needs to go to press. I agreed because Benedikt told me Gregor first asked a month ago and he had “lost” the e-mail – so I couldn’t let Gregor down. <br/> <br/>Also I had a painting (which is really a collage) I wanted to sell to raise money for the Rainforest. Andreas and I are patrons of Cool Earth, a charity which has a simple plan to save the Rainforest by working with indigenous tribes. They have already saved 541,035 acres. They are on target and need another £100,000,000 to save all three great equatorial forests. At the election the polling station was in the local school and I saw the collage on the wall. It was done by a class of 6 year olds – about the environment. <br/> <br/>I thought I’d rather have that on my wall than something by Andy Warhol or Jeff Koons. I’ll try to sell it, it will be a challenge – a challenge to what is art? <br/> <br/>So I did my talk: Great art is timeless; it is always original, as alive today as when it was first done; there is no progress in art (because it is perfect) – though there can be decadence. Art gives culture. Today we have consumption instead of culture – for the mass of people. If we had culture we would have different values, the values of our human genius and we would not have Climate Change. <br/> <br/>Though people were deeply interested I started to feel mad: I wouldn’t be here had Benedikt not forgotten the e-mail and here I was trying to save the Rainforest and the whole world with a kid’s collage. I said “I feel crazy. There is no relation between the littleness of my means and the enormity of the task. I am just going to get down and lie on the floor until somebody comes to take me away.” Then when they were clapping I suddenly sat up with an inspiration, “I know the value of the collage! One hundred million pounds. Buy the painting and you save the Rainforest. I demand one hundred million pounds!” I sank back down. Laura pulled me up to sign tens of signatures and have photos. <br/> <br/>Across the road from my house in Clapham to the library – now become an art centre, Omnibus. You remember due to the campaign of one man, George. This is good compared to the regular policy of Lambeth Council which is wrecking communities in Clapham. You remember I told you about the outstanding Macbeth they did. I talked about Climate Change and gave out my map. The rest of the evening was great – comedians and musicians on Climate Change. Well done Omnibus. <br/> <br/>I met a party of Chinese people in our showroom in Conduit Street – visiting England on a shopping tour. They are rich and because of that I imagine influential and they are interested in the environment. I gave them my leaflet with the map Rotten Financial System and they invited me to come to Shanghai to receive an award at a grand event – auction and dinner with the rest of their group, “Fashion Character”. I did not do this, but of course the hope is they might help with fundraising for Cool Earth and use their influence towards building the Green Economy, which is a matter of life and death. I will keep in touch with them. <br/> <br/>Björk is in London and she came to see us. She brought a gift – 2 boxes containing LPs with all her music. She is doing everything she can to fight the present government of Iceland to stop wrecking the country. Love her. <br/> <br/>Uffe Elbæk a green M.P. of Norway came to my house. He will attend COP21 and wanted to discuss green strategy. Though we will both attend COP we will be there at different times so I will send him a video message for his event there.


viviennes westwood