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The art of getting paid to drink

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wanna do something you like and get paid lots? Here's an article from The Times;

A Japanese artist has been paid £5000 (RM35,000) of taxpayers' money to drink 48 bottles of beer and then fall off a wooden beam.

The "performance", which took place at an arts centre in Cardiff, has outraged members of the local council and caused bafflement among the public, many of whom do exactly that every Friday and Saturday night, without getting paid.

However, an arts centre spokesman said: "This wasn't just about a woman drinking a lot of beer. This was a powerful piece of art." Tomoko Takahashi, 39, who performs under the name Anti-Cool, was once nominated for the Turner Prize for her installations of rubbish.

She says her performance "comments on the availability and use of mass-produced products". But she is now being accused of encouraging binge drinking.

Takahashi put on the performance art show at the Chapter arts centre in the Canton area of Cardiff. The 50 people watching the show, part of a month-long Experimentica 05 season, saw Takahashi dressed in a smart black business suit and high heels, drinking beer from a large bag suspended from the ceiling.

They then watched as she tried to walk across a narrow beam 60cm above the floor.

The three-hour act consisted of Takahashi drinking more and more beer and trying to see how far she could walk across the beam before she fell off. Image hosted by

David Davies, a Conservative member of the Welsh Assembly, not to be confused with the Tory leadership candidate, said: "If anyone is daft enough to want to see a young woman getting plastered and tottering around in high heels, they can do it in just about every city centre most nights of the week.

"The worrying thing is that people are making decisions to hand out taxpayers' money like this when they are sober."
posted by Ivan, 9:07 pm


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