bring back irony. And Marie Antoinette. In the fight against the pomo platitudinous kitsch of Sofia Coppola, Takashi Murakami, Forced Entertainment

… at last a show to which I will not feel I am doing a disservice by penning the couple of lines I write here: Forced Entertainment’s The Thrill of it All, at Centre du Georges Pompidou. But first: if you are going to visit the mass-tourist destination of Versailles, I suggest you concentrate on the gardens and Marie Antoinette’s Little Trianon – a wonderful fantasyland, Disney avant-la-lettre, model farm, fake grottoes, modest bach of a place, lacking even its own kitchen, having only a place to warm up the food to bring it hot to table, and likewise at the farmlet or Hameau, food shipped in, warmed up, served hot – unless you enjoy, that is, mass-tourism.

Having been bitten by Versailles before, we ventured out there again. On a low day. And it turned out to be the best day we’ve had in Paris, for weather, blue skies, sunshine, 22 degrees celsius. Unfortunately the fountains weren’t playing. Because if they are there is an extra charge, and otherwise entry into the gardens is free. But we hired bikes and took ourselves out to Trianon, and there had lunch on the lawn. Interesting that Louis XV had such a thing for mechanical devices. In the little house he’d wanted tables that came up from the floor already set. Which he didn’t get. He did get, however, the mirrored panelled walls or flats that could be raised or lowered into slots in the walls in the upstairs rooms.

If it was M.A. who was responsible for the decor, then she had a very modern eye and a fine one. Duck-egg blues. Occasional turquoise. Modest and restful.

The whole of Petit Trianon was marked with her character: the Hameau, and its thatched collection of eccentric ersatz farmhouses, including a mill, a laiterie, and working potagers; then with the wonderful whimsy of a light-house, setting-off point for boat-trips and fishing expeditions. Although, with the number of cat-fish we saw in the pond you might just as easily walk across the pond on their backs and pluck them up in passing. And the theatre, where, being Austrian, she found it a good lesson in French to perform. A perfect miniature eighteenth century theatre. I overheard a guide here explaining the length of scenes in those days was timed to coincide with the wick-time of the candles used to illuminate the scene. It also bespoke M.A.’s attitude to the kids. The Hameau, or farm village, was supposed to serve an educative function: how real people get along with providing for themselves.

We cycled around the Grand Canal’s impressive cross. And quickly had used up half a day.

The famous mirrored hall is fabulous, in that you are able to imagine seeing it what impression it must have created when lit by candlelight, the flames reflected in the mirrors, suspended in the dark space between floor and ceiling amid the scintillations of the chandeliers. The idea that it can be used, the Palace, as an exhibition space seems simply wrong-headed. Busloads of tourists are not interested in Murakami’s kitsch. And I found the Murakami oddly didactic. Shouty in its aesthetic of OTT Nipponese cute and kitsch against the background here and shouty in its neutrality about its own aesthetic statement, its unwillingness to pass judgement. Hence the snap I snapped of the ‘icons’ of privilege in the toothy mouth of one his beasties: jewelled Pepsi, shoes, aspirational items. Yeah, there’s a hint of reappropriation about them, by the Japanese artist of the American item, but at Versailles the reading can’t help but be different. Less critical. More flatly neutral to the point of being complicit, celebratory even.

I saw a book about Jeff Koons showing work here and his work looked to be thoroughly in keeping. Which tells us exactly what?

A rush home and back out to the show. From which I learnt, You can’t make a show about lameness that is not itself lame. But I ken that that is the MO of Forced Entertainment.

Four women in platinum wigs, beaded dresses, red boots; four men in ropey hair, white suits, red shirts and snakeskin shoes: they dance badly to overloud bachelorpad exotica-muzaq, Hawaiian, Japanese (!). Musical kitsch. They dance badly for most of the show to a soundtrack composed of found material. The dances are interspersed with spoken sections, the men’s mics lowering their voices, the women’s raising theirs to helium levels. The mics too too loud. Annoying. And addressing themselves directly to the audience. In the, Are we having fun yet?! style.

The strategy is eaten up by its own premise. But in being self-devouring, it is, as it appears from their history, since 1984, of making work, self-regenerating as well. Almost like a perpetuum mobile of platitude. As if the reflection of the everyday spawned further reflections of the reflections in performance and the reflexive theatricality were without end.

In that end, dull. And many walked out. More stayed and pissed themselves laughing. Perhaps gained something from translation into sur-titles in French?