Sunday, January 14, 2007


Broadgate tower and 201 Bishopsgate

... I thought it was convex, but now we're a bit closer I can see that it's actually concave

Man in the street, commenting on 201 Bishopsgate

Yes, readers - geeky skyscaper observation is the new craze sweeping the capital. And it's not surprising, what with Broadgate Tower being a not inconsiderate landmark these days. Later this week I will post a few photos exploring how it's making its mark (can't at the moment as we have a downlad/upload limit from 6pm to 11pm.) But the media don't seem to be enthusiastic about the tower. For instance, in last week's London Paper article it wasn't even mentioned, despite the fact that it will be the third tallest building in the city, and will be a gatepost to the city from the north. Like those two massive kings in Lord of the Rings.

Today I went prowling the city streets, but I wasn't twiddling my thumbs yesterday either. I went to the comically named Haunch of Venison gallery. It's so named because it's situated on Haunch of Venison Yard. But they now have a second branch in Zurich, where the name surely must be a source of much debate. But no fighting though: they're Swiss. They might have a competitive 'whittle-off' once in a while.

What was in the HoV was an exhibition of Patrick Tuttofuoco's work called Chindia. He's known for his "...utopian ideals; his interest in society, cities and community,' and 'collaboration is a natural part of Tuttofuoco's work.' Chindia was the result of his travels to 17 of the world's fastest growing cities (mostly in China and India.) The two most striking pieces were a mural which combined bits of both countries, and a video piece which didn't, although all the videos were playing in the same room. The video thing was good though; you often hear about the fact that India and China are emerging superpowers, but despite the fact that India seems to be grabbing handfuls of more developed industries (Call centres as opposed to manufacturing happy meal toys) watching the videos highlighted how much more developed China is, which is weird. Here's China(hard hats and skyscrapers), and here's India (bamboo scaffolding and cabbies). Think on.

Chinese skyscrapers are odd fellows. All modelled on the BT tower: tall thin body with a bulbous head. I say all, but I mean 2. I'm pretty sure they have more than 2.

As I'm typing this a song by Noel Coward has started playing on party shuffle. It's called 'Honeymoon scene - Some day I'll find you', and they've just talked about China and India. 'China's very big.' Perceptive as ever, that Mr. Coward.

China has playgrounds for adults which play the same role as our sanitised indoor gyms. These featured for a lond time in the videos. Best bit was a man in speedos, office shoes and socks jumping up and down as if he was skipping, but with no rope. He was a bit tubby and this all went on in a public park Brilliant! Good art is almost always funny. I couldn't video it as there were other people around, but this is almost as good. You can't see it very well, but it's a man and a woman using a man-powered skiing machine:

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