Ventured into the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (Bristol) Friday and Saturday. Passport to PRSC came in the form of an invite to the Museum of Ivor Goldblatt (MoIG). A pop up exhibition by writer and broadcaster David Goldblatt, it was a memorial to his dad who died ten years ago. In the 50s – a National Service dodger; the 60s – apprentice to ‘hairdresser to the stars’ Teezey Weezey Raymond; the 70s – Henna importer ‘misunderstood’ by a colleague (escaped all embezzlement charges but stung for nursing a cannabis plant – ‘I only just found out what it is’). 80s: gambler, rag trader, weaver and dodger. In latter years made money and – in the spanking fetish community – fame with his prodigious spanking porn output as the vigorous Headmaster and secretary of the Red Stripe Club. He’s written some of this story in an extraordinary piece in Granta 104 that came out a couple of years ago (the theme of the journal being ‘dads’). Dave asked for memories of the man. I’d only met him once but had a clear memory of his purple velvet suit. Odd given that he never had either a purple or a velvet suit, but all agreed that that was a pretty apt way to dress his memory.
Dave is one of the greatest communicators I know and his writing usually leaves you in a new place. Anyone with a passing interest in globalization or football or both should make their way to The Ball Is Round. MoIG applies his talents to a new medium. Pop-up museums could get pretty annoying if everyone turns to it, but this was a ‘how to’ from a novice curator. A memorial to a much loved father, and a way of thinking about migration, memory, social change, family traces and loss. It is also very funny. I hope he takes it on the road, writes an award winning movie script and so on. More on Stokes Croft in a post to follow if I can find some minutes: MoIG just a taste of the strange and wonderful things going on.