NPR logo In the Cultural Olympiad, Can A Puppet Get On A Wheaties Box?

In the Cultural Olympiad, Can A Puppet Get On A Wheaties Box?

London's Cultural Olympiad: In most cases, visitors won't want to run through the galleries quite this quickly. Matt Cardy, Getty Images (right) hide caption

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Matt Cardy, Getty Images (right)

This is the big opening weekend for the Cultural Olympiad, London's four-year (!) culture showcase leading up to the 2012 Summer Games. Interested in puppets? Writing? Acoustic jazz? Are you in need of an accent workshop? The Cultural Olympiad has you covered.

While much of the content of the Cultural Olympiad will undoubtedly be impressive, I find myself most charmed by Martin Creed's Work No. 850, performed by a collection of Olympic athletes as part of the opening. The idea of Work No. 850, as it's explained in the gallery sign, is for someone to run through the gallery as fast as possible every thirty seconds.

I like the idea of the Cultural Olympiad, and choose to believe that the person who makes the best puppet will have his national anthem played over the loudspeakers while the announcers describe the struggles of his youth and the bidding war begins over which brand of soft drink he — and, of course his puppet — will endorse.