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.