Spectres of Modernism at Raven Row, London, 2 February 2018


Join us at Raven Row on Friday evening 2 February for a live programme of performances, readings and screenings, and an exhibition and sale of work by the artists, writers, photographers and filmmakers involved in the Spectres of Modernism protest.

The event aims to draw attention to and raise funds for the legal campaign against Taylor Wimpey and the City of London council and to quash planning permission granted for the luxury development The Denizen. This would replace 110 homes for key workers with 99 investment flats but no on site social or affordable housing. It would also overshadow local homes, schools, businesses and Fortune Street Park.

Join us in making this a landmark case that transforms UK planning so that decisions are no longer skewed in favour of an elite.

Performances: Mark Aerial Waller, Iain Sinclair and Bill Parry-Davis, Nina Wakeford in collaboration with Lloyd Corporation.

Screenings: Zoe Brown, Katrina Palmer, Esther Planas, St Luke’s Community Collective & Friends (including Owen Oppenheimer and Bioni Samp), Maxim Gertler-Jaffe, Chloe Hur, Mai Omer Teplitzky (Goldsmiths Visual Sociology MA).

Readings: Tom McCarthy, Chris Petit.

Presentations: Stewart Home, Anna Minton.

Exhibition: Anthony Auerbach, Fiona Banner, Justin Coombes, Deborah Curtis, Adam Dant, Jeremy Deller, Arnaud Desjardin, Sarah Dobai, Chris Dorley-Brown, Katherine Fawssett, Margarita Gluzberg, Patrick Goddard, Pippa Henslowe, Siu Lan Ko, Immo Klink, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Fraser Muggeridge, Elizabeth Price, Anjalika Sagar – The Otolith Group, Eva Stenram, Eleanor Vonne Brown.

Funds raised from the sale of works (including the original protest banners) will be donated to the Save Golden Lane Crowd Justice campaign to cover the costs of a hearing in the Planning Court, to argue why permission for judicial review should be granted and, if successful, the further costs of the judicial review itself.

Friday 2 February 6.30 – 9.30 pm (Live programme from 6.45 pm).

Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London E1 7 LS.

“A spectre is haunting the cynical overdevelopment that characterises London’s buy to leave property boom, the spectre of modernism!” #savegoldenlane


New Spectres Of Modernism Shots

New shots of Spectres of Modernism: Artists Against Overdevelopment banner installation on Bowater House. Photography by Golden Lane Estate resident Charles Humphries.

Featured artists are: Mark Aerial Waller, Fiona Banner, Deborah Curtis, Adam Dant, Jeremy Deller, Arnaud Desjardin, Margarita Gluzberg, Patrick Goddard, Pippa Henslowe, Stewart Home, Siu Lan Ko, Tom McCarthy, Fraser Muggeridge, Katrina Palmer, Cornelia Parker, Esther Planas, Elizabeth Price, Anjalika Sagar – The Otolith Group, Iain Sinclair, Gavin Turk, Eleanor Vonne Brown.
Protest against the planned building of Taylor Wimpey’s overscaled The Denizen luxury apartment complex, which will steal sunlight from schools, homes & Fortune Street Park. Council tenants will lose up to 70% of the light from their living rooms. Denizen luxury apartments are being marketed off-plan to ghost home investors in South East Asia who won’t rent out or live in these dwellings; they’ll just leave them empty on the assumption they’ll accrue value in the overheated central London property market.
The banners and the development site face each other across Fann Street, at the junction with Golden Lane, London EC1.
“A spectre is haunting the cynical overdevelopment that characterises London’s buy to leave property boom, the spectre of modernism!” #savegoldenlane

It’s Nice That on Spectres of Modernism


Fraser Muggeridge studio designs protest against luxury flat development by Bryony Stone, 11 October 2017.

Fraser Muggeridge studio has teamed up with curator Clare Carolin and a collective of artists to protest against a planned luxury flat development near the Barbican.

The project is called Spectres of Modernism, and takes the form of an installation of banners bearing protest slogans created by a selection of artists and writers known collectively as Artists Against Overdevelopment: Iain Sinclair, Gavin Turk, Jeremy Deller, Cornelia Parker, Esther Planas, Mark Aerial Waller, Fiona Banner, Deborah Curtis, Adam Dant, Arnaud Desjardin, Margarita Gluzberg, Patrick Goddard, Pippa Henslowe, Stewart Home, Siu Lan Ko, Tom McCarthy, Fraser Muggeridge, Katrina Palmer, Elizabeth Price, Anjalika Sagar – The Otolith Group and Eleanor Vonne Brown.

The banners are currently strung from the balconies of flats in Bowater House in Golden Lane Estate directly opposite Taylor Wimpey’s planned development The Denizen, where they will remain until 10 December. Shouting slogans such as ‘Zombie Investors Take Stock’, ‘Homes for Heroes’, ‘Children need sunlight to grow’ and ‘Parasites will starve in this carcass of culture’, the banners respond to the literal overshadowing by The Denizen of local houses as well as Jewin Welsh Chapel, Fortune Street Park, Richard Cloudesley and Prior Weston Schools and the Golden Lane Children’s Centre.

The development will leave the homes and schools with heavily diminished natural light, while there are plans to demolish 1960 civic modernist building Bernard Morgan House. There is no planned for social housing provision in the new building.

Read the full piece here: https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/fraser-muggeridge-luxury-flat-development-111017

Above: Stewart Home in English and Chinese plus Artists Against Overdevelopment Save Golden Lane banner. Stewart Home: ghost homes are residential properties which the buyer neither lives in nor rents out, but on which huge profits can be made due to rising house prices. Free Exorcism With Every Taylor Wimpey Ghost Home loosely translated: a Bowater House resident liked Stewart Home’s English slogan so much he asked a friend to render it in Chinese. Since a literal translation didn’t work well, the friend suggested 陰地上的豪宅 or yīn dìshàng de háozhái, meaning ‘mansion on shady land’. The translator said shady in this instance meant haunted and the phrase had an eerie and poetic vibe; it could almost be advertising for a ghost movie. Purchasing a Denizen luxury apartment will haunt you forever!

“A spectre is haunting the cynical overdevelopment that characterises London’s buy to leave property boom, the spectre of modernism!” #savegoldenlane

The Guardian on Spectres of Modernism


Developers are using culture as a Trojan horse in their planning battles by Anna Minton, Guardian Tuesday 10 October 2017.

London sells itself on being the world’s cultural capital… But just a mile or two from the galleries and auction houses of the West End, some of the same cultural players whose creativity the city trades on are protesting that their own communities are being desecrated by development. Spectres of Modernism, a site-specific exhibition at Bowater House in the City of London until December, sees balconies draped with banners by artists including the Turner prizewinners Jeremy Deller and Elizabeth Price.

Their focus is the building opposite, Bernard Morgan House, which for decades provided accommodation for 110 City of London police officers and nurses, in a fine example of postwar housing designed to blend with the neighbouring, Grade II-listed Golden Lane estate. Now it is to be demolished and replaced by a luxury apartment block named The Denizen. Eleanor Vonne Brown’s banner reads: “Fashion designers, Turner prizewinners … and you”, a slogan borrowed from developer Aitch Group’s hoarding nearby that trades on London’s cultural capital.

The story follows a by-now-familiar plot. In May 2017 planning approval was given to Taylor Wimpey, despite strong opposition from local residents and businesses. During this process it emerged that the chair of the City’s planning and transportation committee, Chris Hayward, is a director of Indigo Planning, whose clients include Taylor Wimpey. Deputy chair James Thomson was formerly deputy chief financial officer and chief operations officer of Cushman and Wakefield, commercial property and real estate consultants, which marketed and sold Bernard Morgan House to Taylor Wimpey. The committee member and former lord mayor of London Sir Michael Bear was appointed chair of the planning consultancy Turley Associates – which also acts for Taylor Wimpey – a few weeks after planning approval was granted…

…Meanwhile the one Golden Lane estate resident on the committee, councillor Sue Pearson, was advised by the assistant city solicitor not to cast a ballot as, having previously made an objection to the application, she could be seen to have a vested interest in the outcome. There is widespread opposition to the construction of apartments mainly bought by foreign investors as “safe deposit boxes in the sky”, with figures showing that 40% of residential properties in the West End are empty most of the time. The majority of flats allowing the banners to hang belong to residents who have lived there since Bowater House was built.

They, and the artists, fear The Denizen risks becoming a similar ghost building.

Read the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/10/developers-culturehousing-luxury-homes-art-artists

Banners above: Siu Lan Ko All That Is Air Melts Into Solid: Marx and Engels often used dialectical reversal to make points and in The Communist Manifesto they state: ‘all that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind’; many now associate the first part of this citation with its reuse in the title of Marshall Berman’s book All That is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity (1982). Anjalika Sagar – The Otolith Group Freedom From Frontierists, Settlers, Hipster Capitalists & Colonial Gentrifiers: developers are attempting to rebrand the Finsbury/Bunhill/St Luke’s area as East Clerkenwell, to create a ‘hipster central belt’ running from Hoxton and Shoreditch to the east to the real Clerkenwell in the west. The Denizen lying mere metres over the border from the old borough of Finsbury (now a part of Islington) fits this pattern of hipster gentrification although it is situated just inside the City ward of Cripplegate Without. The Denizen is NOT located in the ancient heart of the City of London as Taylor Wimpey have falsely claimed in advertising material, since it lies well outside the old city wall.

“A spectre is haunting the cynical overdevelopment that characterises London’s buy to leave property boom, the spectre of modernism!” #savegoldenlane

More Photos of Golden Lane Protest Banners

Top to bottom, left to right: Tom McCarthy ‘the Gluttons, denizens of the Third Circle’; Arnaud Desjardin: ‘READ MY FRENCH: CITY=VOLEURS=MENTEURS=SPECULATEURS’; Anjalika Sagar – The Otolith Group ‘Freedom from Frontierists, Settlers, Hipster Capitalists & Colonial Gentrifiers’; Iain Sinclair ‘UNDER LONDON, HEAVEN’S LIGHT, GROW LIVES, NOT LOOT’; Fiona Banner ‘sun-comprehending glass, deep blue air, nothing, nowhere, endless’; Katrina Palmer ‘Land Grabbing Sucking Shunts’; Adam Dant ‘Homes Fit For Heroes’ (in Chinese); Pippa Henslowe ‘Zombie Investors Take Stock; Mark Aerial Waller: ‘your S106 cream has gone sour’

Left to right, top to bottom: Eleanor Vonne Brown ‘Fashion designers, Turner Prize-winners … and you’; Siu Lan Ko ‘all that is air melts into solid’; Tom McCarthy ‘the Gluttons, denizens of the Third Circle’; Iain Sinclair ‘UNDER LONDON, HEAVEN’S LIGHT, GROW LIVES, NOT LOOT’.

Shot from ground level.

Last three banners ground level, left to right: Elizabeth Price ‘Listen Here’; Jeremy Deller & Fraser Muggeridge ‘Wimps’; Gavin Turk & Deborah Curtis ‘children need sunlight to grow’.

Top to bottom on right: Cornelia Parker ‘ONE DAY WILL THIS SHADOW FALL’; Patrick Goddard: ‘parasites will starve in this carcass of culture’.

General shot, last two centre left to right: Margarita Gluzberg ‘Pas de replâtrage, la structure est pourrie’; Esther Planas ‘Alerta! Knight Frank & Savills Se’n Fot l’Espai’.

Somehow we managed to take these six pictures of the Bowater House banners without including Stewart Home’s ‘Free Exorcism With Every Taylor Wimpey Ghost Home’, which is on the top floor toward the east side of the building (the right in these photos).