Friday, 16 January 2009

London's South Bank Skyline: All Change

I posted about the developments taking place at Tate Modern on Londonist this week. Brilliantly, the PR from Tate Modern called me up, (after having sent an email to the same effect moments before) to reprimand me for the pun in my headline and subsequent copy.

His project is called Transforming Tate Modern. I'd played on the word modern. What's happening at Tate Modern isn't a modernisation. Tsk. I pointed out that I'd got his project name, and link to said project in the post at the bottom. I think he knew it was a silly complaint, but it was one he was required to make, and it all passed amicably once we'd had a chat about it. I changed one sentence, and added a new picture caption. Fairynuff.

It all looks like interesting stuff, tho. Especially in terms of what NA the geotechnical engineer is now working on: Project Bankside. I love knowing a geotechnical engineer. Particularly when he sends me beautiful pictures of what he's working on. JC and I have "plans" to live at the top of the yellow-topped building on the right of Tate (before, I think, we retire to live in the Barbican, or course), but it'd all look a bit different if we ever did that now!

All this new stuff reminds me of an amazing shot of the London skyline in Four Weddings and a Funeral. I think Hugh Grant has just woken up in the city; to demonstrate that, they show a shot of London. This being 1994 (yikes, more than 10 years ago!), the panorama includes no Eye, no Gherkin, nothing you'd particularly recognise as current film-language for the Lon.don. (Tate Modern only opened as a shiny museum, rather than a grubby power station, in 2000.) It's a quiet shot, a colourless sky across a murky river, showing London Bridge. Not Tower Bridge; London Bridge. Perhaps that was the point; Hugh, the "everyman", in a ordinary morning in an ordinary capital city. But it looks so dated now.

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