Saturday, June 16, 2007

The City of London made my Ceiling fall in

Bat and Michael Rosen in SW on the decidedly 1929 property lunacy that currently has London in a vice-like grip. As has been pointed out, this can be put down to the absurdly bloated position the City holds, morphing and twisting the entire metropolis for its own purposes. This is currently a subject close to my heart, as my shared flat above an East Greenwich chippy (one of several carved out of a dilapidated Victorian building) currently has a partial ceiling, as, seeing as property is a licence to print money, another flat is being constructed on top of it: the wait for the whole bloody thing to collapse nicely parallels the wider tedium of waiting for this preposterous economy to fall apart.

One of the most beautifully pithy demolitions of this ludicrousness is in the film The London Particular, which links it correctly to the nonsense talked about 'regeneration' and especially the purported regeneration provided by the 'creative industries'. There is still a pervasive myth that there is somewhow some sort of conflict between artists and big business, centring around their squabble over who has the right to the ex-warehouses and tenements of E2 - and a useful corrective to this is Chin-Tao Wu's book Privatising Culture, which explains in painstaking detail how the decline of previous art funding (arts council, dole, free education etc) has led to art being taken over by the very businesses down the other end of Bishopsgate that are allegedly their antipodes.


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