The actor and secular saint has no direct involvement with BILL MURRAY: A Story of Distance, Size, and Sincerity at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art but the interview with artist Brian Griffiths, above, suggests that he should.
The majority of creatives piggybacking on Murray’s popularity these days would seem to be entrepreneurial craftspeople, whereas Griffiths is a fine artist. Previous projects include a Romani wagon comprised of secondhand furniture and a series of historically costumed busts cast from actor Peter Lorre’s death mask.
BALTIC’s website provides some context for the current installation, a series of nine model buildings in various architectural styles, festooned with Murray’s face and other visual indicators from his considerable oeuvre:
Bill Murray is always authentic. He is consistently ‘BILL MURRAY’. His singularity breaks into irreducible ambiguities and contradictions – Bill the global superstar, the guy-next-door, anti-brand brand, irrepressible lothario, dignified clown and droll philosopher. This exhibition takes these and many other characteristics as an approach, turning them into a fantasy caricature and a poetic tableau of scaled down architecture and collections.
Perhaps Griffiths was having an off day when the camera crew showed up to interview him about BILL MURRAY: A Story of Distance, Size, and Sincerity. A Creative Art Practice student who attended his guest lecture at Sheffield Halam University earlier this year found him to be an entertaining and similarly unpretentious speaker.
The five minute talk above had the opposite effect.
I’d like to propose a reshoot, starring Bill Murray. Imagine what his particular comic genius could bring to the transcript above?
Saint Bill has demonstrated that he is willing to work below scale when he believes in a project. Perhaps he would accept an exhibition t‑shirt in return for livening up this limp artistic statement.
(Might be what the artist was angling for all along…)