All posts by Mulholland Dr.

The Garden

Some small hope, far away when national imaginaries were composed of garden centres, golf-courses, sewage works, car parks, underpasses and airports, an epic struggle took place between The Garden, and the bare-breeched brethren of the Rossie-Crosse, those reptilian supporters of The Academy and The Lyceum. In England, during the period March 21st 1975 AD, a thriving and cultured garden community was established just outside the walls of London at Coombe in Cornwall. Peter Blake, Graham and Ann Arnold, Annie and Graham Ovenden and David Inshaw found a garden wherein they were set free from managed modern transitions and the staged internationalism of the Napoleonic Empire by the truth of the Cor Anglais and the poems of Wordsworth, Milton and Thomas Hardy. “Peter Blake has suggested that they were artists who chose, quite deliberately, to go and work as artists in the country (as opposed to the city), an environment no less real for the artist than the city, throughout twentieth-century urban snobbishness tends to think differently.”[1] Withdrawing from the state into a sheltered Atlantis of like-minded people ruled by friendship, they hailed Epicurus, Elgar and the Reggie Perrin Commune. The Brotherhood of Ruralists became increasingly absorbed by the mythical aspects of the countryside, showing a great deal of interest in an archaeology of foliage, fairytales, folklore, legend, naming rituals and the labyrinths of 19th century British art. Raised in summer days of splendour, a number of Arcadian and faerie paintings followed, uniting William Blake with Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite fantasies. Despite his change from flat cryla paint to oil, Blake’s distinctively sensual pop style remained evident, albeit in a style that aped the piety, virtue and infant joy of early-Netherlandish painting. Work-in-progress Titania, was painted as a sexually aware adult, complete with pubic hair and a distinctly seventies perm. The result was an uncomfortable contradiction between fantasy and verity, a magical realism of grottoes, gothic cottages, the crosses of old grey churches, Hermits, Orpheus and children’s games. The Brotherhood of Ruralists had no manifesto, no promotional strategy, and held no bureaucratic positions, and therefore made little impact on the institutionalised British artworld. Flowing with milk and honey and safeguarded by their recondite Englishness, the Ruralists resisted being bewitched and imprisoned by dystopian urbanists in their steel palaces where they would have been forced to shake their Fascist Groove Thing for all eternity. Blake remained the leader of The Garden until the turn of the eighties when the modern-day Ophelia and former leader of The Ravishing Beauties Virginia Astley’s comely alienated euphony succeeded him. “For every locomotive they build,” Astley once said, “I shall sample another church bell.” The Green Book, sowed these seeds back in the soil as far afield as Glasgow, a dear green place where foppery flourished in the early eighties.[2]

After many years of reassuringly dull Sundays, the garden in which quene Astley felt secure was again thrust into turmoil. The municipal Archfiend and his demons were real and able to perform certain kinds of miracles and spatial metaphors by performing an attack on totalising theoretical endeavours. ‘Foliage is power’, was their motto. According to Hollinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotlande and Irelande (1577), the ensuing struggle for halcyon power over between Astley’s sons, erstwhile concrete fetishist new wavers turned agrarian ethno-historicists David Sylvian and John Foxx had led to a state of civil war. Moss covered urns were toppled by cascading floods of whispering rococo vine. The homely irregular doors of informal cottage gardens were decayed as discursive terms with mock deconstructive terror. While amorphous in all but its central components, Astley’s initiative to halt the spread of Anglo Platonism and Scots Aristotelianism ceded de facto control over much of mainland Britain to Sylvian and Foxx. Although it would nominally preserve Arcadian sovereignty under a greatly weakened and yet to be defined ruralist authority, the plan would effectively partition The Garden approximately into halves controlled by a Sylvian/pro-urban fox hunting on mountain bikes wing in Westminster and a Foxxian-Beechgrove Garden coalition of willing at Holyrood committed to a way of life directed at worldly happiness. The Sylvianian alchemical index of possibilities promoted peaceful wars, the smoking of hash pipe, a remarkable abundance of brilliant trees, replacing glacial ambiences with a bright temperate dog day’s air, leading life back to the soil and the poems of Wilfred Owen. The Foxxian system of romance favoured the poems of Ivor Cutler, scrapping weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde, travel by horse and carriage, communally renewable energy and a damp climate. Both were united in shaping self-conscious mythologies embedded in nostalgic rituals of ecclesiastical architecture, acoustic arrangements, Gregorian chanting, ambient posturing in white linen suits, sweeping vocal chords, drinking the blood of poets, and neo-expressionist LP sleeve design.

Ignorant of a romantic narcissism in which the pastoral is valorised, concepts of uninuclear and polynuclear conurban continuums continued to ignore the existence of village-type communities within large cities. The Scottish Green Party, winning six knighthoods from Foxx, noted with melancholic reflection that “wir naitral environs is the foonds that ilka commonweel is biggit wi. Whaniver we skaithe the warld aboot us we skaithe wirsels. Akis o thon, taen tent o the warld aboot us is mair nor necessar.”[3] Preferring to follow these diktats than remain under the Norwegian yoke, Lee O’Connor fled with grace in a stolen white van along the Edenic banks of Loch Sunart in desperation to convert the lions of the urban central belt. Once in the capital, O’Connor dreamt of a virtuous commonweel in his kailyard.[4] His Strontian Dream (2002) was of the otherworldliness of his West Highland hometown Strontian (Gaelic for ‘Nose of the Fairies’), wistful, gentle, loving and faithful, void of all guile and treason, a truth inspired by cheap whisky. He slurred songs of a culture that most Scots no longer understood. As he breakdanced in New Town gentleman’s clubs yelling ‘I am the man from Scottish steel the rigger boots of the oil jobbers embrace the garment too’, he re-enacted Alexander Carse’s dramatic opposition between courtly sophistication and rustic innocence The Visit of the Country Relations (1812). To the vital centre, the naturalism of O’Connor’s New Labour-free paradise, his total rejection of active supernatural powers was anathema. After the Scottish Labour-Whig usurpers formed court in May 2003, he was caricatured as an embodiment of Antichrist for his belief in decadence outlined in his Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603). He retained a tenuous existence in a tree house growing in the fruitful’st soil of Edinburgh’s Dean Village where he abided faythfilll to the cause and grew accustomed to daintie food and soft beds of down.

The Labour-Whig pretenders could not seale their commission. The True Kynge and all his Counsell granted to them anone. And he held himselfe an Assemble at Yorke, gave charges, and taught manners, and commanded that rule to be kept ever after, and tooke then the chartour and commission to keepe, and made ordinance that it should be renewed from kynge to kynge. Living unnoticed, regulated by the seasons, the True Kynge pampered his belly, pausing in hiatus opposite a chewing gum wrapper mask, shrouded in Neil Bickerton’s dusky subterranean installation ‘WE WIN’ (2002). Have you ever been in a chewing gum castle before? It’s kind of a secret, but I know you won’t tell. Medieval fortifications and teeth can be symbols of power, security and protection, as when the animals discover them in defence. As chemical records of our primitive years, teeth are also ciphers of archaeology. Gum is desire given flesh (kidnappers in Borneo once abducted a diplomat for a ransom of Double Bubble). Gum is a mind free from disturbance and a body free from pain, to chew it is to coax a living from the soil. To smell it is to know the luscious smell of delicious land. Reminiscent of Les Levine’s gold gum sculptures, Bickerton’s tiny chewing gum castle had a saliva moat, and battlements menacing high fantasy, but don’t worry – the only thing that he keeps there are rotten teeth. As long as you brush your teeth and chew the chewing gum with studied nonchalance, not even your teeth will ever see the toothsome battlements of Bickerton. However, the more you attempt to remove this gum from your mouth the larger and more unmanageable it will become. In all, Bickerton’s naturalised epistemology left his people hungry, vulnerable, frustrated and panicky because the harder they tried to pull against false seers, the larger the mass of interruption became.

The messianic thoughts of The Lonely Piper ruptured this country of the mind, turning total corporeal war of the State into his own psychological war. Our curiosity is interested to know who and what this man really was, and perhaps all the more so, that our poetical conception of him is so different from the reality. Sometimes in fear of becoming a burden to his clan he would set out on a quest or journey through life collecting experiences and skills that he could share and therefore regain a place of standing with his people. On return from viewing the Monarch of the Glen (1965-68) in Peter Blake’s fifedom, he gushed a montage of aphorisms; standing in awe of sylvan views, affected by fragments and hidden treasures. An empirical record of the powers of the mountain that reign at their strongest during the night and particularly in the winter months, the Mountain Hairs that Turn White in Winter (2002) potentially recover memory from within the ancestral well. Some of this knowledge, understanding and wisdom gathered over the centuries can be found within this dark space, hopefully like our ancestors we will emerge out of the prefabricated darkness into the perfect pollenated light a little more aware.

[1] NICHOLAS USHERWOOD, “The Brotherhood of Ruralists 1975-1980”, The Brotherhood of Ruralists, Lund Humphries, London, 1981, p50.


[2] The Green Book, Issue 5, Spring/Summer 1981 had a powerful impact upon the work of the New Glasgow Boys.


[3] Scottish Green Party, The Thochts o the Scots Green Pairtie, Election Manifesto 2003.


[4] See Craig, Cairns. “Myths Against History: Tartanry and Kailyard in Nineteenth-century Scottish Literature”, in Colin McArthur (ed.) Scotch Reels. London: BFI publishing, 1982.

The Apostle of Terror: Mark Leckey as Saint-Just

Mark Leckey

Mark Leckey’s Londonatella was last year’s one and only dominator of bastard pop video, trespassing a cover of techno novelty act Altern 8 under the historical footlights of the English capital’s crumbling, perilous backstreets. Using found movie footage and overlays, Leckey resurrected an eighteenth century London ruled by upper-class gangs such as the cane-carrying Mohocks, who regularly demolished taverns and slit the noses of their victims. Big Box Statue Action was a furious bonhomie in January. Men, women, children, provincials and foreigners of all parties gathered around Leckey’s sound-system at Tate & Egg Live. In front of Jacob Epstein’s Rock Drill, he blasted Dadaist poetry. The sculpture of the rich quarter was forced to stand up, bareheaded, amidst mobs of loafers, dandies, and casuals, crying, ‘Life! Life! They wanted to break lines to give Epstein fresh blood. Some whispered accusations of narcissism, others of the macabre nature of his art. Undaunted by the fetch-and-carry classes, Leckey continues to press his repertoire of sartorial quirks to the sublime service of William Blake, John Martin, Walter Pater, Mark E Smith and Beau Brummel’s Anatomy of Dandyism. For the future, he confesses a large solo excursion at the Migros Museum in Zurich.

Neil Mulholland


The Apostle of Terror: Mark Leckey as Saint-Just

Neil Mulholland: You are known to some as ‘The Angel of Death’, some whisper accusations of narcissism, others of your macabre nature. Are these rumours true?

Mark Leckey: Let me say to those who seek to judge me that I can’t judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time
that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in. I can’t dislike you, but I will say this to you: you haven’t got long before you are all going to kill yourselves, because you are all crazy. And you can project it back at me . . . but I am only what lives inside each and everyone of you. . . . I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.

NM: To which service are your sartorial quirks being pressed?

ML: Fashion is about ugliness- since, were we ever to encounter true beauty it
would decisivley defeat the desire to consume ever new things.

NM: What are the novelties and pleasures of your freedom lately?

ML: I enjoy the very traditional and the very modern, I find pleasure in both
the left and the right, the nationalistic and antinationalistic, the human and
inhuman, I am for the maximum of good as well as for the maximum of Evil.

NM: Are you truly as incorruptible as your reputation suggests?

ML: I haven’t got any guilt about anything because I have never been able to
see any wrong. . . I have always said: Do what your love tells you, and I do
what my love tells me . . . Is it my fault that your children do what they do?
What about your children? You say there are just a few? There are many, many
more, coming in the same direction. They are running in the streets-and they
are coming right at you!

NM: What plans for the future might you confess?

ML: It is only the glory of the great altar of perfection in the colossal cathedral
of eternity I seek.

Flava Fav’s Rice

Turning Piss into Lager Since 1997

Sometimes it’s hard to find time to sit down and write to people who really matter. That’s why each year, when the time comes around to write this message to you, I ask my ghost writer to try hard to put into it all the gratitude I am supposed to feel towards the publishers of Mainstream. The centre-right networked cultural oligarchy tells me that Friday 26th October 1997 is this year’s date that will be forever etched on our minds. Giotto’s famous frescos of St Francis and Jesus’ mother and Issue 1 of Mainstream, the greatest icons of history, were dead. Glaswegian culture vultures crop-top rhinoplasty-faced Alex Pollard and dark-haired long-shanked Iain Hetherington were on a research visit when the big one hit. They really like clothes; they get off on them. Shoes and gold chains are two of the only reasons they love researching work in Italy. They take an empty suitcase with them so they can pick up about ten pairs on shoes and forty gold chains. They love their shoes and chains, they’re so conformable and they’re usually way ahead of the fashion here. While in Italy they also go about awkwardly authentic practices to satisfy the home fan-base, masturbating over jilted bouquets and seeking the ultimate early Renaissance rice recipes. First of all, they went to Florence, y’know what I’m sayin – that’s where the long-grain types are grown. Then, after they gets to Florence and gets them a bag of that motherfuckin rice, y’know what I’m sayin, then they takes it all over to the Assisi cause they got all the vegetables to go with the bitchin rice! The motherfuckin pricks arrived at the train station at Santa Maria degli Angeli and hopped into a limo. They mixed your peas, your corn and all that stuff with the rice and made it nice! I’m tryin to tell ya right now! After washing down their pilau with Christal champagne, they headed off to distribute all known copies of Mainstream Issue 1 to the faithful of St Francis of Assisi. The pusillanimous duo had just turned their back on the Kirk when the rockin Almighty recklessly severed Giotto’s drawing of his daughter in law’s praying duke. They ran for cover as the broken basilica bit the bullet. By tragic twist of fate Mainstream Issue 1 seemed to discover its true identity in the last moments of its life, a jiffy before being tragically ripped into countless black and white confetti mixed in a vortex of pastel pigmented parts. As earthquakes ravaged central Italy, and the death toll of non-Britons rose, the zine never looked so venerable and divine. Although it will continue to feature in folklore, it was the beauty of the drawing and indomitable spirit of the handwriting that shone through.

Neil Mulholland

Wake Up and Smell the Ginger Frappe: Towards the aromatic, pungent, peppery bouquet of galangal as proof of a Congealed Radicalism’s unlimited parsimoniousness in discouraging cultural production as symbolic delegitimation of Late Capitalism.









Before I begin, I’d like to thank my latest Capitalist sponsors for the absolute restitution of my privileged access to Truth, hence my respectful reverence of Alex Pollard’s Bastardised stealth boomerang returned to ground after temporarily passing through ideological aerospace, the startlingly capable, enigmatically powerful plott-rocket that Pollard threw, or rather, that threw him, to the teeming megalopolis of Hampstead, that vast asphalt labyrinth of world-wide frivolity and cultural fraudulence, to which Pollard travelled through many a moribund agricultural hamlet from his point of departure, Preston Park, a rather prosaic subsidised ornamental park with a bafflingly amusing eemya, one of the most sought-after residential locations in Brighton, the very spot from where this stealth boomerang type device travelled back and forth at the most ungodly speeds to its fiery death, an area that astoundingly includes the 1980 Moscow Olympic 800-metre champion Steve Ovett – who was brought up in the carcinogenic air of Harrington Villas and attended Varndean Grammar School for Boys – among its residents. It’s no accident that the Pollard’s detailed psychoarchaeology of the mnemonic in long distance running should boomerang back to this spot. As a teenager, the seditious Pollard drank cider outside the iron school railings past which the future Olympic hero might have ran, had they not been prematurely torn down to make planes to kill Germans, a deeply bitter irony numbed only by the cider. It’s also no accident that the Pollard’s family have looked after Preston Park for centuries, ‘pollard’ meaning to cut back a tree to the trunk to promote the growth of a dense head of foliage. And dense this head of absolutely extraordinarily researched foliage is.

Back in 1980, Ovett, a punky social democrat sponsored by the Fair Trade movement, was young pretender to Tory New Romantic, Sebastian Coe, sponsored by Revlon, the infamous make-up manufacturers responsible for his Brideshead Revisited look at the time. As a small child, Pollard knew that Coe was destined for a glittering post-running career in Westminster and it’s probably clear where his sympathies lie. Combining the aesthetics of athletics with the athletics of aesthetics, Pollard now radically indexes these tales by sprinting from description to performance. These fissures clearly have something or other to do with Coe’s nationalistic ‘coherent training’ rationale, his belief in silky smooth speedy stride as the ultimate pre-requisite to success in addition to being indexed to Ovett’s love of Fair Trade. Seb thought he was self-sufficient but, as the structural paradoxes of Pollard’s paintings prove absolutely inconclusively, he wasn’t. Seb may have won the 1500-metre race, but only at the cost of equating fact with value and of remaining within a traditional definition and ideology of athletics by updating, developing, and differentiating the functions of his pernicious alibis.

In parallel disparity, life in Pollard’s ideologically drained Hampstead Achieved is a quiet collection of found gestures and scopic prostitutes. There are no iron railings, no athletes, no warplanes, no stores, no factories, no tramps or Garage MCs in this marginal space, his new hometown. Prognosis by crystalline morphology, the comfy living room has wallpaper and furniture, rather than being burnt to the ground or smeared in ‘dirty protest’, the street that is not visible through the window is neatly paved, rather than blown up or dug by dirty navvies, the garden is mowed rather than a horrid muddy bog, trees are carefully pollarded as opposed to being chopped up like spent matchsticks. Things have always been peaceful in here; it’s just the way life is. The correct prediction of all the relations one can measure, Pollard’s work insists on things being inclusively valid within the sphere of a pollarded experience that is at war with the war waged by normative rhizomeaddict networking.

The Aye of the Tiger

I didn’t get where I am today without knowing good old-fashioned painting when I see it. People and their fads, eh? Still, no use kicking against the pricks. Neither Mrs. Ruskin nor myself has ever kicked against a prick. And never use two words where one word will do, that’s my motto, that’s my axiom, that’s the way I look at it.

John Ruskin, Lectures on Architecture and Painting delivered at Edinburgh in November 1853, London: George Allen, 1891.

Painting has changed a little bit since John Ruskin voyaged by donkey to deliver his aesthetic sermons to the good people of Edinburgh. Gone are the days when painters laid out their whole palettes in an arrangement of tones which, with slight variations and a certain amount of glazing, formed a basis for painting all the different fields of a composition. Ulglinous, waxy, greasy surfaces have been replaced by alchemical readings of painting based heavily on the writings of French revolutionary martyr Jean-Paul Marat. In today’s media-dominated society, contemporary painting graduates must work with celebrities on behalf of their favourite charities. Hannah Gordon took this year’s graduates to the spectacularly beautiful Les Baux de Provençe; a Nazi-occupied Renaissance village perched on top of a rocky crag. There they busily examined the phenomenology of figure-ground relationships in the local bouillabaisse spilled over their laps in classic Galton & Simpsonesque sitcom style by Rene François Artois. The lucky pups were also treated to lectures by eminent German art historians Lieutenant Hubert Gruber and General von Flockenstoffen, whose pataphysical research on Van Clomp’s Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies (1583) is unparalleled. In Avignon, the students set up right in the centre of the bustling town hall square, full of pavement cafes and tourists, where some worked with modern materials such as laser beams, frozen food and telepathy. One intrepid student made obscene gestures, like Italians flicking their chin, at dwarves in a vivid and fragrant lavender field in the heart of Van Gogh’s St Remy de Provençe. Gordon then flew the peer-group to Hollywood where they were expertly tutored by neo-expressionist painter Sylvester Stallone, who attributes his artistic success to his constant confrontations with adversity, hard work and dedication, much like his alter ego Rocky Balboa. Important advice was also given by inimitable portraitist Derren Brown, who was in town acquiring some Windsor and Newton turpentine and a biro to fill in a Scottish Arts Council grant application. I would like to think that this year’s graduates from the School of Drawing and Painting will easily achieve the celebrity status of bleeding-edge artists such as Stallone and Brown. Combining Brown’s bewildering powers of psychological illusion and perceptual manipulation with Sly’s dogged Italian-American determination and infinite patience, I’m certain that they who continue to dare shall win.

Lucy McKenzie | TATE

Lucy McKenzie

Motivated by the shelter of like-minded people ruled by friendship, Lucy McKenzie’s philosophy is clearly signalled by the conviviality of her work and by the ways in which she has clearly remained determined to tackle success and failure communally, to be judged by her foes as well as her friends. While a student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, McKenzie drew on her teenage experience as a rriot girrlesque fanzine writer, hauling together gloriously ragged exhibitions such as Shake the Disease. Mixing work by established international artists Richard Kern and Kai Althoff with Scottish, German and Polish upstarts such as Keith Farquhar, Alan Michael, Ewan Imrie, Paulina Olowska and fellow members of Deutsch Britsche Freundschaft, McKenzie was certainly a precocious magpie, but she was no networker. Then as now, her practice centres on respect and a highly tuned sensitivity to the ambience of the work of other artists and writers. Proud of her alleged provincialism, she works only with close friends, establishing elegant affinities between her work and that by those she admires.

Group exhibitions organised by McKenzie have transformed the pseudo-globalised neo-conceptual facade of contemporary Scottish art, bringing together works by artists long separated by generations and geographies. Curated with Charisma collaborator Edinburgh-based artist Farquhar, It May Be a Year of Thirteen Moons, But it’s Still the Year of Culture at Transmission Gallery in Glasgow re-wrote the history of nineties Scottish art. Rebuffing the slick café-bar cultural caricature of Glasgow and its artists, Charisma reclaimed the working practice and inspired mistakes of New Glasgow Boy Steven Campbell, reading his work in relation to their own idiosyncratic practices and the maverick theatrics of Martin Kippenberger and Albert Ohlen. The Best Book About Pessimism I Ever Read at the Kunstverein Braunschweig broke new ground between a number of younger European artists and perambulating Scottish elders painter-playwright John Byrne and painter-novelist Alasdair Gray. Charisma also pioneered the sartorial cause that is Mark Leckey in Scotland, while taking glutinous greyhound paintings by Edinburgh’s Archie Webb and the psychedelic outpourings of Glasgow’s Ronnie Heeps to guttural comrades across the North Sea. McKenzie remains fiercely independent of the dominant aesthetics and promotional curatorial sectors of the art world, both in Scotland and abroad, rigorously overseeing all aspects of her public exhibitions and dealing only with imaginative private gallerists that fully understand what she is trying to achieve.

While living in Glasgow, she has been involved in a number of more intimate projects with close friend Olowska, a Gdansk artist that she met while on exchange to Karlsruhe Kunst Akademie in Germany in 1998. Drawn to the rich visual culture of the former Communist-bloc, McKenzie collaborated with Olowska on a number of exhibitions in Gdansk, including apt art show Dream of a Provincial Girl and Aesthetic Integration, a vast series of works painted on the walls of the Solidarity Shipyards as part of the annual Festival of Mural Painting in Kliniczna. In Scotland they conjured Heavy Duty, a substantial joint exhibition held at Inverleith House in the capital’s Botanic Gardens. In Warsaw they recently ran Nova Popularna, an organic moonshine bar decorated in psychic homage to the Korova Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange. McKenzie and Olowska flourished by ensuring that their saloon remained outside the trade routes and prosaic chit chat of global art. Women-only-Wednesdays at Nova Popularna made sure that Warsaw’s women didn’t get hassled. The local Polish clientele were greeted with a flurry of aniseed schnapps, honey vodka, Charles Rennie Macintosh curtains, seductive carved furniture, etched Nova Popularna chalices, vorticist wall paintings and diplomatic posing. The bar vitrine offered lady tennis player favourites KIM cigarettes as well as CDs showcasing the talents of the clientele. Edinburgh fashion designer Beca Lipscombe designed the official Nova Popularna dresses, aprons socks and belts worn by landladies McKenzie and Olowska and their loyal bar staff. Events were spearheaded by McKenzie and Olowska’s friends such as French artist Mathilde Rosier, who played piano behind the curtain, gentle jazz chanteuse Bianca Glazebrook and London covers band Donatella, featuring Bonnie Camplin dressed as a middle class housewife. Slideshows accompanied Thai barbeques while painter Merlin Carpenter played Take That records. During her days off, McKenzie worked on double portraits with Olowska and produced six hand-made posters advertising upcoming events, a few examples of which feature in this issue of Tate. A communal labour of love, Nova Popularna was a volte-face against insipid art groupies and globalised cultural entreprenurialism; its adjacent European fraternity might only be found, perhaps, in the small dark illegality of DIRT bar in Berlin or in the unreserved cultural intransigence of the Manchester Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

This summer, McKenzie returns home to her native Glasgow to organise another series of rainy Flourish Nights, shambling affairs that take place amongst the Baudelairean decay of Flourish studios and the Victorian wood panelled sumptuousness of Sloan’s Bar in central Glasgow. Last year saw music from Country Teasers’ decorous frontman Ben Wallers in addition to numerous films and performances, including McKenzie and Olowska’s poised Oblique Composition. This year will feature performances from Mancunian punk legends Howard Devoto and Linder Sterling in addition to Keith Farquhar and Craig Gibson’s A Rites of Passage From T-Shirts into Shirts, an elaborate cat walk presentation by Edinburgh’s self-styled Charisma Police. McKenzie continues to work on moist paintings and flashy iconographic short stories about haunted architects and balding popstars. For her solo show at Tate Britain, she will flaunt the Glaswegian Flourish posters within a faux salon-style gallery setting, festooned with marbled effect columns and courteous wainscoting inspired by 1980s editions of The World of Interiors magazine. The Flourish posters will be duly canonised, deliberately paraded with a baroque panache that is as dated as eighties wallpaper borders and museological art. The cultural and political devolution of the eighties and nineties has, of course, rendered Tate Britain an annex of heritage culture, no longer the axis of Modern Art in Britain but a nursing home for the aristocratic customs of a dying empire. McKenzie’s trompe l’oeil approach to institutional dogma and fashion is affectionately oblique, a sure sign that her alluring art périphérique is more widespread and influential than whatever she might produce personally, and is undoubtedly beyond the jurisdiction of any cultural plutocracy. McKenzie’s is a generous art that continues to be one made by her people for the good of people.