Paying for privacy?

Yesterday the London Evening Standard reported that follow the sinking pound caused by Brexit, the country is experiencing a tourist bonanza. So I was surprised but relieved that the new extension to Tate Modern was relatively quiet. Relieved because, despite the paucity of visitors, there was a considerable wait to get a lift to the 10th floor viewing platform. Which of course, is where everybody goes first. And then gawps at the oh so close apartments in Neo Bankside, even though told not to.

You can see right into the conservatory rooms of the apartments in a development where the cheapest homes cost well over a million pounds each (ideal for students, according to the sales pitch!!!). And I was struck, as others have been, by the uniformity of the designs and furniture, by the preternatural tidiness, and by the complete absence of people. Does nobody live there? And if they do, don’t they mind? Once people paid for privacy. Now, in the social media age, perhaps they pay to be seen.

It is not just the opportunity to gawp that makes the visit so worthwhile. The hit and miss brickwork lattice, made up from bricks the size of four standard bricks and sitting on compressive pads, with varying overhangs to accommodate the slopes, is fascinating. The best, and still only partial, explanation I can find is here

And what about the art?Well, it evidently appeals to all ages as this work, a rubber mat in the form of Beirut, shows.

Ruth Slavid

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