Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I pity the fool

The Nat Tate book is real, but is, in fact, entirely ficitonal.

April Fool's!!

Some of the biggest names in the arts world (including artists, collectors, art historian, art dealers, New York based writers like Paul Auster, and editors of literary journals) realized that Nat Tate was a complete fake and that they had been the victims of an elaborate set up. Some of the paintings featured in the book were reportedly painted by Boyd and the hoax was made more believable by Gore Vidal's endorsement on the book's dust cover. Also, the photographs of Nat Tate that feature in the 'biography' are of unknown people from Boyd's own photographic collection.

The literary editor of The Independent, who was at the New York launch with Bowie, said that no one he spoke to claimed to know Tate well, but no one claimed not to have heard of him. Lister stated that he sniffed something fishy, since he appeared to be the only person in the room who had never heard of Tate. His suspicions were confirmed when he discovered that none of the galleries mentioned in the book actually existed.

Karen Wright, one of Bowie's co-directors at 21 Publishing said the hoax was not meant to be malicious. "Part of it was, we were very amused that people kept saying 'Yes, I've heard of him'. There is a willingness not to appear foolish. Critics are too proud for that."

April Fool's is not like most holidays.

There is no gift giving, no decorations, and no special traditions. However, anyone can enjoy it. The exact origins of
April Fool's Day, sometimes called All Fool's Day, is not totally clear. It is believed to have begun around 1582, in France. Under Charles IX, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved to January 1, rather than the pagan tradition of a combined celebration of spring and new year's. However, news traveled by foot in those days and many people did not receive the news for several years. Some, being more obstinate, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the new year on April 1. These backward folk were called "April Fools" and were taunted by their neighbors. They were subjected to ridicule, and were often sent on "fools errands."

This harassment evolved into a tradition of prank-playing on this first day of April through out the world.

Wikipedia has this: In Scotland, for example, April Fool's Day is actually celebrated for two days. The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body. It is called Taily Day. The origin of the "kick me" sign can be traced to this observance.

Mexico's counterpart of April Fool's Day is actually observed on December 28. Originally, the day was a sad remembrance of the slaughter of the innocent children by King Herod. It eventually evolved into a lighter commemoration involving pranks and trickery.

Pranks performed on April Fool's Day range from the simple, (such as saying, "Your shoe's untied!), to the elaborate. Setting a roommate's alarm clock back an hour is a common gag. Whatever the prank, the trickster usually ends it by yelling to his victim, "April Fool!"

jokes are a common practice on April Fool's Day. Sometimes, elaborate practical jokes are played on friends or relatives that last the entire day. The news media even gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool's Day was a fairly detailed documentary about "spaghetti farmers" and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.

100 greatest April Fool's pranks are listed here:

I pity the fool - song: I pity the fool, artist: David Bowie, album: Early On (1964-1966)


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

lol! You're silly! You don't play a simple practical joke on anyone do you?
I had to scratch my head a few times and go back over the first and second post to figure out what craziness you had pulled out of your Foolish Hat. Hah!

Verra good one, clever girl!

Only 2 months 2 weeks 2 days until Annie has her 2 babies!!!

(Notice a pattern there?)


Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

I am pitied.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

LOL, LOL, lol, Lisa! I wonder?!?

It was a tricksy post, I'll admit it. I wanted to get a Bowie reference in there, somehow! Did you know he had a publishing company? He pretty much orchestrated the book/joke to slam the art world of which he was a part of- that is what his publishing company was about- art.