Digby Warde-Aldam

Why art biennales are (mostly) rubbish

Should you visit Malta this spring, you may notice something decidedly weird is afoot. Across the public squares of its capital, Valletta, performance artists are blocking busy thoroughfares and causing havoc on packed café terraces. The Hospitaller and British military forts that dominate the capital’s famous harbour, meanwhile, are full of dysfunctional installation work, while

Emir Kusturica interview: why Slavoj Žižek is a fraud

Last month I was invited on a press trip to Serbia. The whole thing sounded great; free accommodation, free food, free travel. I said yes, obviously. But there was a catch; it involved an interview with the film director Emir Kusturica. Now, the first thing you should know about Emir Kusturica is that he’s huge,

An art award that actually rewards talent

Before I was asked to go out and cover it, I’d never heard of the Vincent Award for contemporary art. It’s a big deal in the Dutch art world, apparently, a sort of pan-European answer to the Turner Prize. It was set up by a charitable foundation with some deeply serious intent or other, and

Are bowls of pasta Blairite?

If Thatcher was Britain’s Bonaparte, then Blair was most certainly our Louis-Philippe. It was during the reign of the latter that the bourgeoisie came to dominate the status quo in France, and they needed somewhere to gather. Not for them the salons of the aristocracy – instead, they invented the destination restaurant, imitations of which

Artists’ houses

I’m not sure what took me to Salvador Dalí’s house in Port Lligat, but it sure as hell wasn’t admiration. As a public figure, I hold him alone responsible for the look-at-me culture that gives contemporary art a bad name. And as a painter… don’t get me started. Sceptics slag off conceptual art as a