A busy day yesterday! I went down to the South London Art Gallery, one of my favourites in London to see the John Armleder show entitled "About Nothing". He was a member of the Fluxus Group, but don't let that put you off! This showcases his works on paper and is really a feast for the eye. I was at first worried about the Royal Academy Style hanging, but as you view the show it does grow on you. It works because so much of the show is about repetition, and the impossibility of repetition. The wallpaper, made from 1000 images of unique snowflakes forms a backdrop. The work itself often relies upon the serendipity of chance, the shape formed by an ink "puddle", a few chance marks on paper or the juxtaposition of marks on objects such as record sleeves or collages.
I could and possibly should have spent three hours in the show - but next time I shall take a step ladder. I've enclosed a set of images.
The other reason that I went down to South London was to re-visit a great caff there called Tadim, which is located at 41 Church St Camberwell SE5 just down the road from the gallery. It is a smoky and colourful cafe near to Camberwell School of Art. So it's frequented by a motley collection of students and locals. The by line 'the healthy way to eat' can not quite be believed - all that Baklava and Boreci - but my veg stew and salad seemed restrained enough. Vegetarians beware! The stocks used are meaty I reckon but the menu does specify which dishes are guaranteed meat free. Murals of Turkey's tourist spots and woven tablecloths complete the ethnic feel. Definitely a 'caff' but in the multi ethnic way that is unique to South London. An original!
South London Art gallery have got together with other local galleries to publish a rather good guide Art South Central which gives information about the galleries but also travel info and other nice things to do in the area. I got to hear about the Tadim Cafe from their publication first. Its a great idea and particularly good for arts and cultural organisations to plug themselves into other activities cultural, leisure and gastronomic, within an area.
Finally I rolled up at Elephant and Castle - which is due to be refurbished or redeveloped and certainly needs it. I was off to a lecture at South Bank University Lepu (Local Economy Policy Unit) by Andrew Carter of Rocket Science about urban economics. His premise is that regeneration areas are undervalued and in fact offer the market - generally the development market - larger returns because of the greater potential for improvement. There ensued a lively debate about how that market uplift could be shared amongst people living in the area. The view seemed to be that so often regeneration became gentrification.
I instigated a discussion about economic indicators on the micro scale in a totally selfish way to further my research on the matter. Not much positive advice, but those who were involved in Economic Regeneration in the UK did volunteer that their role and their outputs were ill defined by their political or government masters.
These debates occur on the second Tuesday of each month and if this one is anything to go by I can recommend them.
The university campus is being intensified, smaller buildings are being pulled down to make way for five to eight storey teaching blocks. The lack of public open space is marked, but not oppressive. This is an urban site. Hopefully the external environment will be improved once the Elephant gets redeveloped. There is that massive roundabout for a start! David Walburn, director of Lepu remarked in his introduction on the scarcity of shops around the place - and there are certainly no nice caffs here (as far as I found), though the South Bank Uni could become the major cultural/intellectual focus for the Elephant and Castle