Nothing like the Turner Prize to deliver half an hour of overwrought excitement. Not that the writer of this blog was there. He was wound like a spring on the sofa, as the reportage photo above implies.
But how close can you get to this Prize?Â Like the man in a Kafka parable, you wait and wait all year in the knowledge there are doorkeepers beyond the doorkeepers. You are Before the Law.
On the one occasion this writer did make it to the ceremony, at BALTIC in 2011, he somehow took a wrong turn and ended up in a bar at the venue, still watching the whole thing on TV.
British televisionâ€™s engagement with contemporary art is so minimal that Channel 4â€™s coverage of the Turner is the equivalent of watching an entire football season in one short burst.
Sorry to those offended by the sports analogy, but thatâ€™s just of what sofas and televisions put one in mind. Blame Tate for establishing the art worldâ€™s annual moment as a lucrative competition.
Duncan Campbell won. And for many in the room surely Gore Vidalâ€™s cynical comment on envy surely rang true: â€œEvery time a friend succeeds, I die a little.â€ Still, a worthy winner.
Looking back at a piece written for Culture24 in early September, your sofa correspondent appears to have predicted the result. But only in the most throwawayÂ of fashions, almost by accident.
It could still be maintained that Ciara Phillips would have made a more interesting winner. Thanks to her use of collaboration, she might also have made a more approachable one.
In Kafkaâ€™s brief fable, the supplicant for admittance to the law is a â€œcountrymanâ€ but not necessarily a regional blogger. He spends the rest of his life waiting for the doorkeeper to let him through.
Before he dies, he goes blind: â€œYet in his darkness he is now aware of a radiance that streams inextinguishably from the gateway of the law.â€Â Just the television crew lights, perhaps.