02.05.09 Ben Long 'Crown Jewels', The Times Literary Supplement, 'Freelance' commentary by Hugo Williams, 02.05.09

“…Saturday May 2. We take the Nos 205 and 133 south of the River to an opening at the Man&Eve gallery in a private house in Kennington Park Road. We are early, so we explore Cleaver Square opposite, a genteel enclave where a boules tournament seems to be in progress. French voices are heard. We learn that this is the boules centre of Britain: a French team comes over every year for the “Boules d’Or”.

Back at the gallery, the female owner opens the door with a babe in arms and shows us through with drinks into the garden. Ben Long’s sculpture “Poubelle de Jour” isn’t finished yet, but it won’t be long. We explore the house and repeatedly examine his small brass maquette of a bandstand, the only other exhibit. Busy young men come and go from the forbidden room. After an hour I ask if we can have a sneak preview and we are ushered into the room, where we see an old red phone box stuffed to the brim with call girl cards. The box has been “subjected to an exaggerated degradation”; the royal insignia ot its roof echoes the crown-shaped bandstand in a memorial to London past…”