Ghosts, at The Fine Art Society explores the failed project of modernism with a special focus on London, through the eyes of six contemporary artists. Class and politics are bound up in architecture, and each of these artists explores, from their own perspectives, 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. These artists present the experience of living in the remnants, in a memorial to modernism, as renewal is replaced by ‘regeneration’.
This subject is particularly prescient; some of London’s treasured cultural markers are under threat from an apparently exponential building project. The recent ‘destruction’ of the Paolozzi mosaics at Tottenham Court Road and closure of Soho’s cultural centres are examples that have 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.