Bill Drummond ceased activities as part of the enormously successful pop group The KLF in 1997. Since 2014 he has been on a world tour, travelling around the world with his show The 25 Paintings, visiting a different city each year.
In December 2016 he based himself in Kolkata, while in the spring of 2018 he was in Lexington, North Carolina. In each place he carries out his regular work, setting up a shoeshine stand in the street and building a bed in order to give it away, walks across the longest bridge he can find at dawn banging his parade drum, starts knitting circles with whoever wants to join him, and bakes cakes, offering them to people whose houses sit on a circle he has drawn on a map of the city.
He is not rich and has deliberately designed his actions so that they can’t be monetised. He has mostly been ignored by the art world. So what is he doing it all for?
Director Paul Duane shadowed Bill Drummond for three years before starting this film in order to achieve some level of understanding about what he’s at. Best Before Death is named after Drummond’s belief that the world tour, scheduled to end when he is 72, is a race against his own mortality.
It’s a film about life, death, art, money, music and cake. And some knitting.