London: City of Culture

The title of the post comes from briefly spotted headline in the Independent over Christmas. But, alors!, have I had my fill of culture this weekend! I have been to see the Terracota Army exhibition at the British Museum for a second time. An excellent chance to see a cultural and artistic oddity that can only be topped by travelling to China itself.

I also dropped by the Photographer’s Gallery, Antoine d’Agata’s exhibition is like a pornographic revisitation of Brassai’s Paris by Night. It’s worth seeing but there is a line between art and stylish pictures of people fucking. Less controversial was the excellent selection of Lee Miller photographs. Her war journalism is excellent and the photos from her “apprenticeship” with Man Ray are a delightful slice of life between the wars. I also enjoyed Chrystel Lebas‘s forest photography.

Then today is was an impromptu trip to the Wellcome sponsered Science Museum exhibition on iconic machinery. Did you know the Rocket steam locomotive is now part of the Science Museum’s collection? The exhibition dwelled too much on Britain’s contribution to manufacturing which I don’t think has ever been a strong legacy. However the British contribution to science and engineering was rightly highlighted without being jingoistic. I really liked the idea of using heroic iconic machinery as a way of indicating the developments in science and engineering. There’s just ten metres between the Model T Ford and the Morris Mini and both speak volumes about their times.


2 thoughts on “London: City of Culture

  1. Kevin Straw says:

    Have you never heard of the Indusrial Revolution? Do you not know of the endless number of industrial inventions that poured out, and are still pouring out, from Britain? Have you never heard the term “workshop of the world”? I suggest you get yourself an education in industrial history.

  2. I’ve corrected your spelling of education but you’re right, I’ve never heard of the Indusrial Revolution.

    I take your point about the contribution of the Industrial Revolution to manufacturing. The exhibition could have sensible included one of the powered looms for example.

    However I do feel that there is nothing as iconic as Ford’s Production Line or Toyota’s robots. You can look at some pottery and then look at more pottery and appreciate that it was produced quicker and in greater volume but it’s hard to say that you have an epoch being made on the back of it. Similarly textile production.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s