‘Adventures with Tony Kaye’
Here are two brilliant three minute films of highlights from last Friday’s adventures through London with Tony Kaye in a fleet of Nissan Cubes. Everything was filmed on Flip HD cameras. Read the blogs, linked here, for more information.
A perfect close to the day, before zooming off to the Cube Store in Brick Lane; Tony Kaye gives a Cube-top show atop a Nissan Cube outside the Tate. Cue startled passers-by, unfazed cabbies, bewildered Big Issue sellers and a few arched eyebrows.
In the Nissan Cube, an interesting conversation ensues about how to walk the line between art and commerce. Bob Dylan knows how to do it, according to Tony, but Lennon stepped too far towards art and politics for comfort.
Also intriguing was the discussion about Marlon Brando’s acting lessons at Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch. There’s recordings of all that coming soon!
Kabbalah, Tony claims, has given him the technology of creativity. “The Kabbalah has a very healthy attitude towards sex – it’s an important thing!”
Now we’re on the way to Tate Britain in the Nissan Cube.
The Tate is a mystical place for Tony. He took a homeless man called Roger off the street and installed him there. The first place of Roger’s installation was at the Saatchi gallery – he was thrown out of there so Tony housed him at Tate Britain. People came looking for him, were intrigued by the idea – and at times outraged.
A homeless woman installed in an LA gallery wasn’t quite so successful – she was wanted for misdemeanors and was taken to court. When the judge asked why she was in the LA gallery, she told him she was a work of art to much muttering and disbelief.
“It made people more aware of homelessness,” says Tony. “If you cut through the ridiculousness, I gave a guy a home and taught him about art. It’s about being if benefit to mankind, something I learned from the Kabbalah. I have to find a cure for pain, suffering and death – through art and expression. If I can’t do it, I believe that by trying I will inspire someone else to do so!”
He’s also been leaving art around LA like movable graffiti. “I asked Damien Hirst how he became an artist. Damien said ‘You are a fucking artist!’”
Tony pretty much lived at the NFT in the early 80s. “This was my film school! I’d spend all day here – it was fantastic. It took me a ling time to understand the structure of a film.
He was weaned on Hollywood biblical epics, so the experimental films were a steep, exciting learning curve
We skate into NFT screen 1, unsettling the woman who’s just about to open it for a screening. Everything seems bigger in memory, according to Tony as he stands on the stage, watched by bewildered members of a gathering film audience. This memory of hugeness is true of synagogue and silver screen room – both places of worship in one way or another.
And now we’re off to the Kabbalah Centre at Tavistock Place, “where all the pennies from heaven fell into place” for Tony, in the blissfully comfy Nissan Cube…
The song Tony performed was written in the last five days, a gestating work in progress.
He’s never done anything like this before – the song and the paintings aren’t finished. It never sounds as good as it does in one’s head, says Tony, but he thinks he’s a better artist for the process.
Now on to the National Film Theatre back in the comfort of the Nissan Cube, talking about Tony’s upcoming reality show for Fox and film work for the UN on climate change.
“I’ve always tried to do things that benefit mankind,” he says.
In the Hospital Club, Tony’s setting up his Pop Up exhibition; paintings of lyrics and slogans with a certain feel of Basquiat about them.
We are free of the @nissancubeuk fleet for a short while. Tony’s children are glad of this; they are bouncing everywhere in the gallery space laughing as their father sticks pictures to the clean wall with masking tape and sticking their own drawings on the other wall in a gleeful mirroring.
They are, of course, another form of immortality for their father, unsung as yet on a day of questing for immortality.
We’re spotting similarities inside the mosque; sacred spaces vary only slightly, according to Tony.
“I thought this place was the hugest place. I enjoyed the performance aspect of singing texts, I had to read the Hebrew from the scroll. I enjoyed singing to a packed house!
“The quest for immortality is to be with family and friends forever, it is the most important thing in life. The collective goal of life should be the search for an end to pain, suffering and death.”
At an early age, Tony knew he wanted to leave something behind. Now he believes it could be him; that we could all be our own great works of art. He’s looking for a cure in the mind. He wants people to work together.
The quest for immortality is a shared journey, according to Tony; one we all need to take responsibility for. So this, in a way, is a pilgrimage. With added journalists. And Nissan Cubes.