daniel_lehan (daniel_lehan) wrote,

Kolley Kibber RIP in Whitstable

Kolley Kibber RIP is a work (originally commissioned for inclusion in the RomanRoad Party as part of the Bow Festival in 2005) inspired by the characters once sent by national newspapers to visit seaside towns, and who, if recognised, would then award a cash prize. People have told me about such a character called Lobby Ludd who used to visit Essex, and growing up in Margate, I seem to remember that a certain Charlie White was the one who we had to look out for on the seafront. Perhaps the most famous of these characters is Kolley Kibber who in the novel Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, is murdered by the young hoodlum Pinkie.

Space Station 65 invited me to participate in 'Splashdown, Whitstable' on the 3rd and 17th of June, to perform the piece. People who recognised me, and across the two days this number amounted to around 150, were given a pink limited edition stick of rock with a commemorative label, with the word Splashdown printed through it.

In the September issue of SAGA magazine there appeared a review of the Whitstable Biennale, including the following lines regarding Kolley Kibber RIP.

.... a man in a polyester pinstripe suit and rimless specs, grinning at us and jiggling his eyebrows. It transpired that that he was Daniel Lehan, a walking work of art or a "Roving Performer" and part of the Whitstable Biennale. Spot him and you must say "You are the artist Daniel Lehan and I recognise you as a work of art and claim my prize." Whereupon he gives you a stick of rock. Reginald did the required spiel and was advised by Mr Lehan to hang on to his stick of rock because it will become a collector's item. Who collects sticks of rock, we wondered ? And who understands modern art ? People actually receive grants for Mr Lehan's sort of stuff ....

In the face of such perceptive critical insight in to the work, the only thing I DO want to say in my defence is that I have done many things in the name of Art, but jiggling my eyebrows, as far as I am aware, has not been one of them. And of course, as can be seen from the photograph, my glasses are clearly not rimless. The misinterpreted idea that I AM the artwork, rather than being recognised as an artist, is a possibly interesting development of the work.
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