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What They Could Do, They Did

Arts, events and culture in South London and beyond...


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Greenwich Village Market to close, Brixton Market gets reprieve...

I was devastated to discover that Greenwich Village Market is to cease trading after this weekend (21/22 March) — to make way for a housing development which is no longer to take place. As the Evening Standard reports:

The land was originally earmarked for housing but the recession stopped that. The developers have pulled out. Yet the owners of the site, Capital and Counties, have still given the market notice to quit.

There is talk of Greenwich University buying the land but even if it happened, the site would be vacant for years while a proposal is worked up and taken through the planning process.

For those who aren't familiar with the Greenwich markets, the Village Market is the slightly scruffy outdoors part towards the station, open on weekends with myriad antiques, record and bric-a-brac stalls of the type that can be eminently rooted through for a full afternoon. It's adjacent to the fantastically nichey Old Bottle Shop, and has long been my favourite of London's markets, nestling between the overpriced tourist-magnets of Portobello and Spitalfields and the glorious rock-bottom junk hoard of Deptford.

And yes, it's being turfed out to remain derelict for the foreseeable future. Thanks, developers. This weekend is the last weekend that they will be trading, and I urge people to make a swift visit before it's gone.

There's also news that the venerable Brixton Market almost befell the same fate, with London Associated Properties attempting to steamroller it into a "West End-style shopping precinct", but it has received a temporary reprieve thanks to the onset of recession and protests from local traders. There's a current attempt to get the site listed to make this arrangement permanent - here's hoping...

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South London art events in early 2009

So it seems that 2009 has hit the ground running with cultural happenings in S/SE London. The Goldsmiths institution of the Thursday Club, a mostly-weekly showcase for innovative new works, kicks off with two talks on sensory interfaces by Ryan Jordan and Artemis Papageorgiou (today, 15 January, free). This is followed by the first of the monthly Electronic Music Studios concerts (16 January, free), at which I'll be performing with AtomSwarm on their 8-channel diffusion system.

Also related to Goldsmiths, though taking place further north, is a 2-day show of events and performances organised by students from Goldsmiths MFA Curating and Royal College of Art Curating Masters. Contested Ground is at Project Space 176 in Chalk Farm this Saturday/Sunday (16-17 January, free). Some of us will be heading over for the series of multi platform events on Saturday, followed by the amusingly-nomenclatured "artist disco" in the evening.

SE London map

Gasworks in Vauxhall, meanwhile, is staging a radiophonic intervention by the Resonance FM Radio Orchestra on Friday (15 January, free) as part of its exhibition of South London artist-inventor Felix Thorn's amazing machines. Also features the long-awaited face off between sound theorist Nicolas Collins and SuperCollider/livecoding veteran Nick Collins, described in a mailout thus:

a live coding vs. live circuit building competition with Nick Collins (Sussex University) versus Nicolas Collins (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), vying for the annual award of the "Nic(k) Collins Cup," an exquisite ceramic vessel commissioned from Devon potter Nic Collins (no relation).

Finally, Herne Hill's 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning are hosting two further events as part of their current exhibition People, Signs and Resistance (28 Jan & 11 Feb, free). Next up is an audience with Sam The Wheels, a first-generation Jamaican migrant who arrived in London in the 1950s and has since been capturing video footage of the area which should be essential viewing for those interested in local heritage — through the Brixton Riots to their legacy.

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