Ten thousand Tracey Emin tents have today arrived in Haiti in the latest bid to provide the country’s earthquake victims with vital Brit Art aid. But the tents, embroidered with the names of every Boy Scout Emin has ever slept with, have received a cool reception from aid workers on the ground.
‘They’re a bit on the small side,’ said a spokesman for Oxfam. ‘You couldn’t get a Margate tart and a Boy Scout in here – not standing up anyway.’ But Emin – who denied she might move to Haiti for tax reasons – said she hoped to teach Haitians how to exploit their predicament as performance art. ‘We might wrangle Arts Council funding,’ she said, ‘if I can persuade them to stay in their air pockets long enough for me to do a few sketches.’
Turner Prize winner Martin Creed, who has taken his installation ‘Work No. 227, the lights going on and off’ to Haiti, complained that thousands of Haitians have stolen his idea. ‘There’re lights going on and off all over the place here,’ he said. ‘I wish I’d brought my ‘Work No 79, some Blu-tack, kneaded, rolled into a ball and depressed against a wall’ instead.’
Also in Haiti is ‘Angel of the North’ Antony Gormley. ‘I’ve got a brilliant idea involving a plinth if I can only find something still standing in Port-au-Prince. Christ, this place looks like bleedin’ Gateshead,’ he said.