Friday, 11 April 2008

There were no excuses, despite the absence.

In Brighton today, listening to those wretched, crying seagulls. Great weather movements have appeared in the past few minutes, over on the horizon. The wretched gulls are headed out to sea.

Yesterday was spent in North London, with that architecture so particular to that area. Much more than the south of the city, it lacks contiguity. Pale cubes studded with glass sit alongside crumbling tenements seemingly held up by drainpipes; next door, eighties lo-rise flats are cemented to sixties efforts at integrated living. Walking alongside Regent's Canal, one can see the change is happening. Cara's old home, a five storey brick monolith, is slowly being boarded up with luminous sheets of wood covering each entrance. Over the river, just down from the quaint jetties, a huge, bowed construction goes up. Great arcs of steel form figures alien, and still the barges move slowly past.

Visited the galleries of Vyner Street too, all of them masquerading as warehouses but full of sophisticates. Futura is the stock font of contemporary art, and each gallery has their own crafted sign, their own agenda. The Wilkinson Gallery held the most accomplished work, Joan Jonas' response to Dante with circling projections of motifs and movement. Painted matt-black on the outside, the building has a lifted glass cube at the top of the space, flooding light through the tight central staircase that made me think of Ballard, and not for the first time that day. The insistent morning sun had beat down on us as we had earlier walked through Hackney and Clapton to reach a new industrial estate. The dust, newly planted trees and cement concourses reminded me of The Drought.

Brighton however is considerably more hospitable in its climate. Down this quiet side street, the air moves cooly through the houses. The wretched gulls have disappeared, all at sea. Familiar sounding voices rise from below. Architecture, accents, avian presence – what are these things that make a town? Today will be spent, dutifully, doing nothing to find this out.