Monday, December 28, 2009

In the City

I took this shot near the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road. It’s just to the right of Centre point, an area which appears to be undergoing renovation. When I looked at the result of the shot, I was hardly impressed - but the juxtaposition of buildings was alluring. I put it through a filter and came up with this graphic view of change in the city. The Charing Cross Road was so exciting in the sixties when I first encountered the area with wall-to-wall bookshops, selling all manner of small publications. You could make your own poetry book from a Gestetner and a stapler then get one of the shops to sell it for you. Alas Gestetner is now Ricoh and doesn't make that fabulous, accessible printing machine. That is no more and neither are the bookshops. The city changes all the time, but how do we "read" the change. If modern architects insist on buildings that proclaim their relation to society, what sense do we make of the transition? I like this image because the codes of space in the city are being "processed". Perhaps that's a more interesting space, somewhere in the stitches. Here, things other than the proclamations of architects and developers might be considered. Where we can ask - what is that building for, who will use it? Then we can begin to talk about repressive space, space that daunts and even terrorises.