Mr Monkey sees Everything Must Go at the CAC, 11th August
After Mr Monkey had seen Anarcadia at the Castlefield Gallery he scurried along to the Northern Quarter to drop in to the Chinese Arts Centre.
Everything Must Go has been organised by Foreign Investment, an international group of artists. The residents of Manchester (and anyone else as well, of course) are invited to bring in unwanted items.
Anything made in China that is hard enough to be gilded will be gilded by art students and other workers (who are being paid the minimum legal hourly wage).
Mr Monkey handed over his unwanted 'Made in China' items - a very thin calculator and a peculiarly unpleasant figurine of an angel - to the volunteer on duty, and found out what the process involved.
Donated items are left on a table, where it's decided if they are okay for gilding - basically they have to have some proof that they're made in China, and be solid enough to be gilded.
Next, glass items are painted black and other items - wood, plastics and ceramics - are covered with a very thin layer of clay slip.
When the paint has dried or the clay hardened the items are painted with size, a form of gluey varnish (or varnishy glue), and are left balanced on a table while the size gets tacky.
Eventually, one of the workers very carefully drapes a sheet of gold leaf over the sticky item, and brushes the leaf in to all the nooks and crannies until the previously discarded object becomes a thing of golden wonder.
The time taken to do the gilding, the weight of the item and the minimum wage will be used to calculate the 'value' of the regenerated items, which will be on sale on the penultimate day of the exhibition. Everything will be sold sight unseen, and there is an exchange day on the final day.
Throughout the exhibition the price of gold on the world market is being noted on the wall, next to a large map showing the world's gold mining areas.
Mr Monkey decided that it would be a really good idea to come back on September 16th, the sale day, to buy a mystery item. He made a note in his human's diary, and left the CAC and trotted off to see AAA - Shaun Ryder and Friends at the Manchester Photographic gallery.
Update : September 16th
On the 16th, after he'd seen I ♥ MCR Metal City at Manchester Photographic and had a cup of coffee at Trof, Mr Monkey took his humans back to the Chinese Arts Centre for the Everything Must Go sale day.
When he got there, a nice lady explained the rules to him (which were also on the wall for the benefit of people who didn't listen), thus:
- Check the price list on the wall.
- Select your number and choose how much you wish to invest.
- Proceed to purchase.
- Give a member of foreign investment your receipt.
- Discover your unique art-work.
- No refunds
Mr Monkey studied the price list, decided he wanted to spend as much money as Miss Carol would let him have, and purchased item 129. This turned out to be a small bottle.
Mr Monkey was so pleased with his art-work, and so taken up by the excitement of the occasion, that he decided to purchase a second piece, this time using all the spare change Mr Rik had in his pocket. The Foreign Investment lady put his second item, no. 116, into a box before Mr Monkey could study it properly. When he got home, he opened the box and found that he was proud owner of a small gold Monkey King.