Sunday, 15 December 2013

A London Tale: the merely stinking rich shoved out by the filthy rich...

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Andrew Marr, who is pretty rich by most folks standard's is moaning in The Spectator:

A recent victim is Cork Street, for generations the heart of the commercial British art world. But as Spectator readers may know, it is ceasing to beat. Seven art galleries are going after Christmas, mostly to make way for flats for billionaires. Another four are to go next year. In a few years’ time there will still be galleries here but they will be run by international fashion houses who have the money. A unique part of London life, which grew by accident, will be destroyed by speculative investment.

I for one won't miss those galleries. And I'm pretty sure there'll still be a commercial art market for people to write about in The Spectator. However, it won't be in Cork Street - it'll be somewhere else, somewhere a little further out - perhaps New Cross or Stoke Newington.

And in moving out, these rich art dealers will push out what's there now - maybe some pleasant, treasured shops loved by locals. Perhaps the little corner shop where celebrities go once or twice a year in extremis when faced with a shortage of some essential (or a weird craving for a Snickers).

It has always been like this, the city. Changing. Dynamic. Exciting.

And when you get bored with this creative destruction, you retire - in Andrew Marr's case to a nice barn conversion in the Cotswolds or a farmhouse in Sussex. Forgetting, of course, that the barn once had cows in it and the farmhouse provided a home for generations of farmers.

There's something poetic about the various translations of Heraclitus' famous dictum (Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει) in Wikiquote :

Everything flows and nothing stays.
Everything flows and nothing abides.
Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.
Everything flows; nothing remains.
All is flux, nothing is stationary.
All is flux, nothing stays still.
All flows, nothing stays.

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1 comment:

lleweton said...

And I remember when a hard-up artist could rent a room in Chelsea.