Thursday, November 02, 2006

'Icount'........a unique London approach to protest.

Photo; it reads: 'How ironic to live in fear of terrorism and die because of climate change'. Photo provided by 'Prophets of hope'. Click on photo for clearer view.

There are plenty of ironies here. The building to which they have projected their protest message on is the Battersea Power Station, once powered by coal until its closure in 1973. The building is currently playing host to the largest exhibition of contempory Chinese art. Next year the site will be developed into apartments that only the globally rich elite will be able to afford.


At 6:45 pm, Blogger Pete Smith said...

You reckon the site will actually be developed next year? Don't hold your breath. The history of Battersea Power Station since its closure has been a series of acquisitions, project plans, applications for planning permission and eventual backing out when the cash ran out or the developer of the day lost interest. Battersea and Bankside power stations were both designed by the same architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. While Bankside is enjoying its new incarnation as the Tate Modern art museum, Battersea is a wreck, despite being declared a heritage site in 1980. Various developers have gutted the interior and removed the roof, and then walked away. Arguments are currently raging over the proposed demolition of the iconic chimneys, which have been variously described as "unsafe" and "repairable".
The building has become a symbol of everything that's wrong with free-market economics, where plugs can be pulled on a whim, without any concern for the environmental impact of projects going off half-cocked or being left high and dry.
It is ironic that the art being displayed at Battersea is from 'Communist' China, a country eagerly embracing capitalism with no obvious regard or awareness of its pitfalls.

At 7:20 am, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Yes, we'll have to wait and see if the proposal goes ahead. I saw a snappy visual presentation of the scheme on Sunday while viewing the excellent art from China at the station. As always these things look impressive. The station is to be kept for public use and to be surrounded by the usual glass boxes for appartments and hotels but, mixed land use is the only viable option. London is probably at the peak of its current boom so, if this doesn't happen it never will. I believe the chimneys are safe with this scheme.

Apparently Sir GGS also designed the red telephone box!

The video installations from the young Chinese artists depicted a pretty depressing life within that rapidly evolving country. The works themselves were wonderfully conceived and executed (oops). I've not seen anything like the style that these artists achieved ever before....glad I went.

At 8:20 am, Blogger Pete Smith said...

It's amazing that the site has gone unused for so long, not just the power station itself but the acres of derelict land round it. I hope somebody has done, or will do, a proper environmental impact assessment.
I know one thing, the movie industry will mourn the development. For more than 40 years, Battersea has been used as a location in countless films, from 'Doctor Who and the Daleks' via '1984' and 'Richard III' to 'Children of Men'. It even stood in for the war-torn Balkans in an episode of McGyver.

At 8:42 am, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Thought I glimpsed a Cyberman!

Certainly was a beautiful wreak yesterday....the shadows, the sunlight, the clear blue skies....perfect!


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