Stig Kok divides the critics…..



ANGUS: Thank you, Alasdair…..and that about wraps up the latest season of films apologising for the British Empire. 


ANGUS: Swedish artist Stig Kok has courted controversy and divided opinion for decades. His admirers claim Kok’s latest creation – an award-winning installation provisionally titled Dogging 2008 surpasses his previous work, while his detractors remain puzzled. Who is this Stig Kok? And why does he sound like a bookcase from Ikea? What is certain is that Dogging 2008 is sure to create further controversy. Elspeth McTwee reports from the frontline.  


ELSPETH: It’s a bleak January night. Shards of rain fall like wet guillotines from a heavily pregnant sky. Rats fight over week-old kebabs and chicken bits among the syringes and broken bottles. Sodium lamps bathe greasy puddles in a murderous light. I’m in a tumbledown car park in the post-industrial West Midlands. They tried to build an urban farm here. But the only thing that can grow here, say the experts, are tumours and triffids. It’s just the kind of urban squalor and deprivation us arty, metropolitan types love – as long as we don’t have to live here. So why am I here? For Kok, why else? Kok prides himself on the realism of his installations, so I’m going to have to whisper as we get closer.

FX: Car tyres rumble on gravel, brakes squeak.

ELSPETH: In the corner there’s a white Ford Escort. Kok has resisted the cliché of furry dice, but rally lamps and a green windscreen sticker that reads ‘Shaz & Daz’ add a certain gritty substance. A bumper sticker is peeling. ‘If you see me rocking, don’t come a knocking,’ it says. It’s a delicious slice of irony.

FX: Car springs start squeaking and squealing rhythmically.

ELSPETH: The attention to detail is incredible 

FX: Muffled moans and groans/electric window opens.

MAN IN CAR: Turn that bloody camera off. I don’t want my arse on YouTube.

ELSPETH: Kok’s work is so real…

FX: Breathing, crunch of gravel underfoot

ELSPETH: Here’s a Mercedes….some evil, bullying boss taking advantage of his secretary, perhaps. The might of corporate Britain asserting itself over the powerless, downtrodden…..a pair of Marks and Sparks paisley Y-fronts pressed against a window and a champagne white stiletto with a fake pearl and lace. A Caravan Club badge, strangely at odds with the sticker that reads ‘Accountants do it Double Entry’ It’s poignant, yet dirty social commentary.

FX: Door opens; Tina Turner’s Steamy Windows is playing.

MAN IN CAR 2: They’ve got a camera. This is your Terry, Sheila. He’s hired one of them private dicks.  

FX: Breathless, feet running on gravel.

ELSPETH: It’s pure Kok and I can’t get enough of it. Over to you Angus.


About richlakin

I write about things that interest me
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