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"Don't look at the art, look at meeee!" - Philippa Snow reports back to Charlotte Jansen from Art Basel Miami Beach
by Philippa Snow

Hey dude. So, how was the flight? Where are you staying?

The flight, in total, was about thirteen hours, which was a kind of hell: I have to say, however, that I obviously have a less refined palette than a standup comedian, as I rather enjoyed the airline food. Perhaps that's a perk of flying with Lufthansa (who are not paying me to say this). They were showing Rock Of Ages on the plane; if I had to write a recommendation for the promotional poster of Rock Of Ages, I would like it to say "watch it kind of drunk on a plane!" - Philippa Snow, as I imagine these to be the best circumstances for it. I am currently staying in the Art Deco district, which has this swampy-aired Lynchian beauty to it, a little like people who like that sort of thing would imagine a new Lana Del Ray video to look. The Christmas decorations everywhere feel a little out-of-place.

Do you have a minibar?

No. Furthermore, the opening last night had a cash bar. Not cool, art. Not cool.

Is it hot over there, because I seem to recall you not enjoying the warmer climes so much... ? And you usually dress in black and/or fur… in fact, what on earth are you wearing?

It's balmy - vaguely tropic, but in the vein of being gently caressed by the heat rather than outright assaulted by it. I don't know if that makes sense, it's 8am here. I'm wearing, currently, sheer black stockings, black short shorts, a sheer 70s polkadot shirt (black, durr) and a big black straw hat. Everything I have is black. I walked through the park to get to the convention centre and some b-ball kids asked me if I was a ghost.

Lol. What have you seen so far?

Huge billboards for liquor. Miami loves liquor. A lot of work by Lawrence "Weinerdog" Weiner, who I should not be referring to as Lawrence "Weinerdog" Weiner. Endless palms. A Starbucks (boo, hiss) which was open twenty-four hours. God bless America.  

Lawrence Weiner, CAKE AS PIE PENDING RESOLVE, 2012; Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, NY.


What is the atmosphere like?

Absolute meat market - a trade show for work. A lot of money being spent; a lot of mystic tan and cocktail dresses and nose-rubbing. A lot of nose-rubbing.

What was the difference between the opening of this, and your experience of Frieze this year?

This is absolutely about money, more so than Frieze. I can't overstate that enough. It's bigger and louder and more indiscreet. Let's say you buy an individual coke bottle in America; it has more coke in it than a person needs at any one time. The difference is the difference between those bottles.

I need more sleep here than I did at Frieze, perhaps. 

Basically it’s more American then. Favourite art so far?

Sadie Coles Gallery has some great work on display. Some smaller Berlin galleries with some great fanzine-y stuff as well. I absolutely fell in love with some large collage sort of things by Leigh Ledare, done with NYT headlines. A lot less creepy than the overt mummy stuff.

Leigh Ledare, An Invitation: Friday, July 22, 2011, 2012, Photolithograph, 144.8 x 76.2 cm; Courtesy Pilar Corrias, London.


Most pretentious thing you've heard so far?

I saw a woman give away her passes because she felt that the class of buyer-slash-attendee was too low. 

She must have seen you going in. Most clueless person you've talked to so far?

None yet, but for some reason nobody can understand my accent, which I find absolutely baffling.  

Can not fathom why. Ok, I can’t resist… most horrible outfit of last night?

A girl turned up in a see through dress with big black pants underneath. "Don't look at the art, look at meeee!" Dalston in Miami. 

You're there all week, aren't you? Ha, makes you really sound like a standup. Actually that’s a brainwave. You doing standup. About art. Hmm. Anyhow, what's the plan for the coming days?

There are a couple of things going on tonight - a Richard Prince party (launching, bizarrely, a drink), a Fendi/Andy Warhol thing. After that it's a lot of salon talks, gallery mooching and, I hope, consignment shopping. Bateman-style business card swapping. Mexican food.

I'm so jealous, tell me something to make me feel better. 

The plane was screening Rock Of Ages. I said that already, but it bears repeating. 


--Philippa Snow, Charlotte Jansen

(Image at top: Philippa Snow riding into Miami, visual approximation.) 

Posted by Philippa Snow on 12/7/12

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