Friday, 7 March 2008

Iain Sinclair at the Docklands Museum

my first time back in canary wharf since september, when we moved out of our luxurious flat on brother thames to the multicultural shores of bayswater, it's to attend iain sinclair's talk at the docklands museum. yes it takes at least Iain sinclair to snatch me from one of my 2 routines (home - work - home ; or home - home - home when I am working from home) on a work day and push me to the fringes of the metropolis. For the first time i have a chance to steal a visit of the docklands museum.
I am obviously early enough that they are barely opening.
there is an exhibition about gay culture but I am not sure i understand what it is exactly about, it's a little bit confusing.
the museum stuff is very interesting, but it's only at the third floor that I find something that make the visit and the ticket to this museum worth: there is a 2 sided reconstruction of the London bridge, THE one and only bridge in London for many centuries, which is fantastic, awesome, you have to come and not watch it, but admire it, worship it, drool over it!
it's fantastic, and on each side it represents the bridge in 2 different historical ages.
In the meantime the man himself, iain sinclair has arrived, probably with his wife, a elegant beautiful lady.
some time is wasted in arrangements, the museum staff is over excited, probably not used to the large crowd that is gathering outside the venue? orders are given to the public that they can't bring the drinks from the bar to the venue, then , after a short reconsideration, drinks are suddenly allowed.
a japanese bicycle deliver boy has made himself comfy by laying on the floor, he is out a gibson's novel. this london audiences are unreadable to me. if i were back home, I would know what sort of people are attending a certain type of event. like this case, minor author, very hard to read, very cryptic, very much everything is about london. here there is a mix, delivery boys, middle aged anonymous people, older people, couples, singles, girls, young girls, student age? the mix is unreadable, my social skills are lost in translation, i know no one, i can't even read.
i end up sitting near one of the delivery bike boys, he pulls out a big bloc notes from his bag to take notes.
eventually in fact we are admitted, some with drinks, some without , to the venue, a nice room with comfy chairs.
To introduce the evening is Sara Wajid, editor of Untold London, a website about immigration etc.
when sinclair starts talking , again as in the previous case (see this blog back in ???) , he immediately captures the audience. he has a charisma, a way of telling stories in a natural and magnetic way. he doesn't read from a script, yet his narrative is uninterrupted, a flow that takes you places, flash backs of his other lives and jobs, the truman brewery, with an open bar for truck drivers and the morning "brew" waiting on the desk;other endeavors, like the orbital, but also flash forwards into new ventures, like his new books , Hackney, the 2012 olympics.
At the end a book signing occasion, a guy has brought his 2 bags full of sinclair's books, he his piling them out of the bag to sinclair's surprise, he wants them all signed. I buy one of the many I am still missing but queue primarily with the one i am reading (the orbital).
an opportunity to speak to sinclair, i asked him, do you have many italian readers? he replies, as a matter of fact the orbital is being published in italy, with the dvd. i ask the name of the publisher, he can't remember , but he mention a luca something (surname lost in translation ) who will translate; i promise to advertise the book.
he sympathize with my cause (it will be easier to read in italian), his books are very hard to read for me.

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