Tuesday, April 20, 2010


 O is for opening

The best guess date for the invention of cheese is somewhere around 6,000 years ago in what is now Iran and wine too had its origins nearby at about the same time. That means we can probably nail the first wine and cheese event to around 3900BC, or thereabouts. Not that you see much cheese at art openings these days but the wine thing is still going strong. Back in the day the wine usually came from a cask or (at upmarket events) from a bottle via a cask but now, like the shoes curators wear, the quality has gone way up.

Apart from the quality of the wine though, you do have to ask why openings have stayed so…er… the same for so long. Since the first director had the brainwave of asking four or five notables to get up and thank everyone within reach while those invited to the opening stand around waiting to see what they actually came for (the art), things haven’t changed much. TV has conquered nightlife, the internet has changed our lives, man has landed on the moon and one of those satellite things has headed off to Mars, but we still listen to directors thank their staff for doing the jobs they were paid to do (most often by us via our rates and taxes). One day perhaps a museum will hold an opening that tells us a bit about what we are about to see and then lets us in to see it. Got to take 10 minutes max.