What we’re doing on the website revolves around the AR Manifesto and I’ve realised that what we’re building here can be transformed and published as a book with the Manifesto as its heart It could also include your insights.
I think the book should be called ‘The Art Lover and the Lost Generations’ – or even ‘Get a Life’, because that’s what it means.
AR’s speech is particularly relevant to ‘The Art Lover and the Lost Generations’. The idea is ’culture for beginners’ (I have already begun):
20th century progress was a bad idea. Smash the past and the future will take care of itself. Follow the trend, keep up with the times. Artists and intellectuals jumped on the bandwagon. Progress and future were automatically linked. March on! Don’t stop to think. You have nothing to lose but your chains.
What I mean is this: in the 20th century we were not engaged in the world. We took everything for granted – and also the future – so today we’re an endangered species. Culture comes from our engagement with the world
We launched the new Manifesto last evening, taking advantage of the first glorious day of spring to do the reading on the roof of our office in London. It was a real social event, with wine & snacks for the performers and audience.
The speakers were in prime form – everyone was completely engrossed in their roles – I felt very encouraged. The Manifesto is very clear to everyone. It just requires concentration on the part of the reader because it is heretical to received opinion. It would be great next time to combine the reading with a workshop.
Of course we had a lot of students here and they really enjoyed the acting – they were all cheering, right from the beginning – especially when Luca (design assistant to myself and Andreas) jumped in as Pinocchio.
Chiara, from our Purchasing Department, played the True poet and Brigitte, the Head of the Studio, played the Art Lover; I was very impressed with their performances of such important roles. Theo, who deals with the Japanese market, played Whistler – his long speech with its American accent was spellbinding.
We were delighted that Lily Cole (model, actress, studying History of Art at Cambridge) arrived from Paris to play the role of Alice. Although she hadn’t seen the part before she did a wonderful job.
My thanks to Andrew Steggal for directing the players and especially to my PA, Tizer, for such a great job of organising it all.
I was particularly happy to welcome our guest, Matthew Owen, Director of Cool Earth. I’m going to be working closely with this charity in the coming months. Matthew made the point that the best way to get anything done is do it yourself, referring to the work Cool Earth is doing to save the rainforests. Cool Earth uses a bottom-up method, working with the indigenous people who live in the rainforest to help them protect the land they own. This is already having a dramatic effect – over 150,000 acres have been saved in the last 18 months, protecting an additional million acres by their strategic location. I’ve decided to get involved with people who take the Do it Yourself approach to things, like Pamela Anderson’s boyfriend Jon Rose (check my Hollywood Diary in ‘The Latest’). This is what I meant when I called one of my collections ‘Do it Yourself’!
Everything each one of us do is so important. Don’t forget the statistics as they stand: only 1 billion of us will be left at end of this century if we wait for others to act for us.