In March 2015 The Fine Art Society presented a group exhibition of six contemporary artists whose practice looks at the social effects of urban regeneration.
Curated by Contemporary Director Lee Cavaliere, Ghosts: how we live in the future explored the failed project of modernism with a special focus on London, through each of the artists’ own perspective and insight. Class and politics are bound up in architecture, and each of these artists explores the current social consequences of urban regeneration.
The title of the show refers to a London that never came to be, to the intentions of Modernism that never quite played out. The idyll of post-war renewal through architecture now leaves itself open to decay, overgrowth and unchecked development. Simply put, this isn’t what the Future was supposed to look like. These artists present the experience of living in the remnants, in a memorial to Modernism, as renewal is replaced by ‘regeneration’.
The subject of regeneration is particularly prescient; some of London’s treasured cultural markers are under threat from an apparently exponential building project.
At the time of the exhibition, the recent ‘destruction’ of the Paolozzi mosaics at Tottenham Court Road and closure of Soho’s cultural centres were examples that raised debate around the threat of homogenisation, which London has always resisted.
These artists react to the phenomenon of the city with particular insight and erudition;it is only fitting that this conversation is carried out at the Fine Art Society, along-time resident at London’s cultural heart.