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Monkey business comes to Art Basel

13 June 2016

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

Art Basel is around the corner and excitement is feverish. For his sins, the Rake is giving it a miss this year (all that mountain air feels a bit too healthy) but his Swiss moles are keeping him in the know. Among the more intriguing pieces of literature to have come their way is an announcement from New York gallery Mitchell-Innes & Nash, heralding a new performance piece called The Problem by American artist Pope L.

The new spectacle, which takes place on Monday evening, is a meditation on ‘uncertainty, incongruity, humor, and sociality’, which is also ‘influenced by the structure of our language’. 

Anyone expecting an earnest interpretive dance routine might be in for a shock, however. By the sounds of the event’s itinerary, it sounds like an, erm, wild night.


6:00pm: A white limo pulls up to the entrance of Unlimited

6:05pm: A large, white gorilla enters the convention center, and roams through the crowd, dropping unripe, white plantains onto the fair floor and stops in from of Circa at Mitchell-Innes & Nash’s exhibition space [sic]

6:20pm: The gorilla searches behind the Circa paintings and uncovers stacks of money, stuffing them into a satchel 

6:25pm: The gorilla leaves the exhibition space and drives away in the white limo

Diane Fossey, eat your heart out. The Rake wonders what other monkey business is coming to Art Basel this year.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.