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South East Nine
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
London exhibition aims to alter Germany's image
Deutsche Welle
15 October 2014

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the British Museum's "Germany: Memories of a Nation" exhibition offers food for thought to those who think they know Britain's one-time enemy.

It's no secret that Germany doesn't have the best image in England. In covering international sporting or political events, British tabloids like to let the symbols of enmity with its 20th century rival resurface: tanks, guns and military uniforms. They serve as frequent reminders of the divided past between these two nations.

But the British Museum's "Germany: Memories of a Nation" exhibition makes a point of avoiding the clichés, instead offering many positive-minded pieces from the last 600 years in Germany history.

Opening the exhibition is a map of a reunified Germany in black, red and gold, bearing the words "Wir sind ein Volk" (We are one people). In 1989, demonstrators in East Berlin famously held a sign with the same message.

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
London exhibit highlights Rembrandt's works
Al Jazeera | October 2014

Show at National Gallery brings together Dutch artist's masterpieces owned by museums around the world.

One of the biggest exhibitions of Rembrandt's paintings has just opened in London.

This is the first time so many Rembrandts from so many locations around the world have been put on show under one roof.

It concentrates on the Dutch master's works towards the end of his life.

Al Jazeera's Phil Lavelle reports from London.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
North Korean UK embassy hosts first art exhibition
BBC News
4 November 2014

The art of North Korea is almost entirely unfamiliar to the outside world. But now an exhibition of paintings in London gives an insight into the work of artists in one of the world's most secretive states. Even more remarkably the public are for the first time being invited into the country's embassy in London to view the pictures.

Gunnersbury Avenue in west London is a busy arterial road not much linked in the public mind with the worlds of diplomacy or art.

Yet number 73, built as a substantial family home, houses the embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). This week it's also doubling as an art gallery, exhibiting the work of four artists who in recent weeks have been encouraged to paint their impressions of London.

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this was quite a thought provoking piece

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/...dings-getting-a-new-look-in-2015-9928190.html

Olympicopolis and the London museums and cultural buildings getting a new look in 2015

Over the next two years many of London’s museums, theatres and galleries are being redesigned or extended — but a city whose culture is vital to its global status needs more than a makeover

ROBERT BEVAN
Published: 16 December 2014 Updated: 12:55, 16 December 2014

In 2015 London will see the first tasters of an architectural feast that’s being laid out for the city in the form of the expansion and upgrade of the capital’s great cultural buildings. Work has already started on the remodelling of the Science Museum’s galleries while the subtle make-over of the National Theatre is due to complete in February — as is the expansion of the Wellcome Collection’s galleries with its fine new staircase by Wilkinson Eyre.

In April, the Royal Academy finally begins its clever David Chipperfield-designed Burlington Project that will connect its buildings through from Piccadilly to Burlington Gardens. The refurbishment phases of the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery will begin in the autumn.

Amanda Levete’s Exhibition Road building has also broken ground and the refurbishment of the old Commonwealth Institute into the new Design Museum by architect John Pawson is proceeding nicely — its old Shad Thames building closes at the end of the year ahead of the move west. Herzog & de Meuron’s spiralling and burrowing extension to the Tate Modern is stuttering towards completion in 2016, while the next phase of Norman Foster’s Imperial War Museum’s reorganisation is on the horizon.

Further back down the design production line are Niall McLaughlin and Kim Wilkie’s improvements to the Natural History Museum and the recently mooted move of the Museum of London to the temporarily reprieved former market buildings at Smithfield. As with most architectural projects on such a scale, their opening dates are moveable.

Over in east London, a glittering shortlist of the design consortiums bidding to build Olympicopolis was announced last Friday. The Boris Johnson-backed cultural precinct planned for the south end of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park should see a branch of the Victoria & Albert Museum and Sadler’s Wells theatre come to east London alongside new campuses for the University of the Arts and University College. There are no designs as yet but in his Autumn Statement this month, George Osborne pledged £141 million in government support for an idea that we’re told will deliver 1.5 million additional visitors to the Stratford area.

Of course, east London has never been devoid of culture but its big cultural institutions are few. Perhaps the largest being an existing branch of the V&A in the Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green, the Hackney Empire up the road, and Whitechapel Gallery. So Olympicopolis is a welcome counterbalance to the cultural weight of Albertopolis in west London; the historic home of the great suite of Natural History, Science and V&A museums, its music and art schools and the Albert Hall.

The Olympicopolis proposal reflects a shift in the city that has for more than a century seen its sites of cultural production — its artists’ studios, its workshops, its creative nightlife move steadily eastward — from Chelsea and St John’s Wood to Soho and Bloomsbury then, in recent decades, galloping east to Shoreditch, Dalston and Hackney Wick, bringing new life to the legacy of the industrial east in the process.

Olympicopolis represents, then, the beginning of a reconfiguration of the cultural landscape for London — a commensurate shift to the east in cultural consumption to follow all that production; a timely spreading of the love. But it is a small piece of the cultural infrastructure cake since what is immediately noticeable about the other projects is that they mostly relate to existing buildings and locations. This makes a lot of sense — they are long-standing cultural depositories with a proven track record and the proposals are generally finely tuned. Far better this than the scattergun approach we saw around the Millennium where Lottery successes (Tate Modern, the British Museum Great Court) were matched by others of ill-judged, content-lite flamboyance, fur coat and no knickers architecture (the Millennium Dome, and The Public in West Bromwich, which failed utterly and is now being repurposed).

In reality, London’s cultural landscape is being exquisitely titivated rather than fundamentally replanted. The public funding for Olympicopolis and all points east south or north is minimal when you remember that Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge alone will swallow £60 million in public cash from Transport for London and the Treasury (while still lacking a cycle lane and with planned closures for private events). The Mayor’s cultural strategy makes great play of directing investment to the arts in the outer boroughs but, Stratford apart, this simply isn’t happening beyond the occasional face-painting festival.

This at a time when London is undergoing development on a scale not seen for more than a generation. Add up the acreage of just some of the bigger ventures: 40 acres of Convoys Wharf, (the former Deptford Dockyard); 77 acres of Earls Court; 482 acres around Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms; 383 acres at Old Oak Common. That’s almost 1,000 acres in these projects alone — some 666 football pitches or three Hyde Parks, with millions of square feet of new floorspace built on them. They are providing invaluable infrastructure, workplaces and housing (for those who can afford it) but for all the many billions being spent almost nothing is being spent on arts premises. There’s a “boutique” theatre proposed at Battersea. That’s about it. The King’s Cross development, for all its virtues, has only found space for the tiny House of Illustration in its eight million sq ft of new uses. Central Saint Martins, as a relocation of an existing facility, doesn’t entirely count; its old Soho home is being redeveloped as lofts. (The lovely Kings Place lies outside the boundary of this development.)

It has long been thus: billions more has been spent since the Eighties on mile upon mile of development north of the Thames, between Canary Wharf and Woolwich with, culturally, little to show for it other than the underperforming Museum of London Docklands.

Instead, the creative East has had to pull itself up by its bootstraps and now that it has succeeded, its studios and workshops and cheap offices are threatened by the arrival of investment condos.

David Chipperfield recently compared London unfavourably with Berlin — he works a good deal in both and is among those in the running for Olympicopolis. While admiring the energy of London’s museums, he says London has given up on its public realm, leaving it to the private sector. But the private sector’s recent record in creating public cultural spaces in London is lamentable. Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, set to open in Vauxhall next autumn is a rare exception, while the competition for a new Crystal Palace in south London is on hold as its Chinese developers liaise on the land deal with Bromley council. We are left with the same uneven cultural terrain as before.

Olympicopolis is a great start but more needs to be done if Londoners are to have more equitable access to the arts and its creatives a place to create them. Culture, a mainstay of London’s global status, must have a greater role in this wholesale reshaping of tracts of the city.
 

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Fabric next ;)

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-e...ay-face-closure-over-drug-deaths-9933763.html

Fabric nightclub: London's long-standing dance club may face closure over drug deaths

London’s long-standing nightclub Fabric is facing possible closure over four-drug related deaths, two of which have occurred in the last three months.

Fabric could be stripped of its licence and forced to close if Islington council agrees with Police requests at tonight’s Licensing Committee held by the council.
One resident told the Islington Gazette that they saw a group of men “tripping” and “out of their box on something more than alcohol” and complained about their behaviour, while another said they find it “appalling” that people “can move close to a nightclub that has stood there for 10 years, adding much to the city’s culture and diversity, and then complain about the noise”
 

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Yup, great news isn't it. Now that we've got rid of Turnmills, the Key, the Cross, Cable, SE1, the Arches, the End, Madame Jojos, Earls Court and the Astoria, we've only got Fabric and a couple of others left, and then the cleansing of the city will be complete!

It's funny, a year ago I was planning to try and buy somewhere when my current tenancy ends, now I think I'd be better off moving out of town / out of the country, to somewhere which (a) has some accomodation that you don't need to be a millionnaire to buy, and (b) appreciates that there is more to a great city than flats for millionaires (with "activated" ground floor, i.e. Prets and Itsus).

The london that I moved to last decade seemed like an exciting place with a great balance of luxury and grit, business and creativity, mainstream and underground culture both strong throughout the centre, now it feels like every scrap of remotely 'edgy' character in central london is being turned into the same old sterile and/or overpriced shit. Like Boris explicitly stated, it's a playground for billionnaires now. Which I'm sure is great for the billionnaires. The rest of us wouldn't mind having somewhere to live and somewhere left to out clubbing every now then, but we're not billionnaires so **** us, right?

But hey on the bright side we're getting a few ******* pot plants stuck on a hundred million quid bridge because that bird from ab fab thinks it would be nice, so that's an exciting substitute
 

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^^^^

When I was in my early 20's, bang into the clubscene, London's club culture was throbbing, it was quite simply nightclub utopia. As an example within 30 seconds walk of Tottenham Court Rd tube station on any random Saturday night you could choose between soulful house with The Face magazine reading trendies at the super hip Milk Bar. Hardcore with 2000 dungaree and kickers clad ravers at the Astoria. Rare groove and 70's funk with Norman Jay MBE et al at the Arena, Hi N-R-G and disco with Boy George and his crew at Busbys'. Italo house with the legendary London club promoter Charlie Chester and his Flying possee at The Soho Theater Club. Northern soul with Eddie Pillar and the last of the 70's/80's mods at the 100 Club, handbag house with everyone else at Spats.....

Head down Wardour St and 5 minutes into the heart of Soho and Leicester Sq and you had St Moritz, Madam Jojo's, Gossips, The Brain Club, The Wag, Shaftsbury's, Bar Rumba, The Limelight, Cafe de Paris, The Gass Club, Maximus to name a few....

All of them running fantastic weekly and random club nights as well as gigs and PA's. And all of them now pretty much gone!!! The only place I used to go that is still there and thriving is of course Ronnie Scotts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·

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V&A to hold world’s largest collection on art of photography
theguardian.com
Monday 1st February 2015

The world’s largest and finest collection on the art of photography is to be created in London when more than 400,000 objects transfer from the National Media Museum (NMM) in Bradford to the Victoria and Albert Museum, in a move described as historic by both institutions.

The bulk of the objects being moved are part of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) collection, charting the invention and development of photography over 200 years. They include works by British photography pioneers William Henry Fox Talbot, who invented the negative/positive process for producing photographs, and Julia Margaret Cameron, known for her gorgeous, pre-Raphaelite-inspired portrait photography. The world’s first negative, daguerreotypes, early colour photographs and about 8,000 cameras will also be transferred, joining the V&A’s collection of 500,000 photographs.

Martin Barnes, the senior curator of photographs at the V&A, said putting the two collections together made “a huge amount of sense” and he paid tribute to the “clear thinking” of museum leaders.

“Having worked in national museums nearly my whole working life, it is really heartening to see national museums working together to look at where the collections are best placed,” Barnes said.

Works by American photographers such as Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams and Gertrude Käsebier will also be transferred to London.
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35536777

A look around Jimi Hendrix's London home

The London home of rock star Jimi Hendrix has been restored to look as it would have when he lived there.

The guitarist and singer lived in Mayfair in the late 1960s, in a third floor flat which he called his "first real home".

Handel & Hendrix in London opens to the public on Wednesday 10 February.
 
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