July 14, 2011
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Patrick Keiller is best known for his film essays, London, Robinson in Space and last year's Robinson in Ruins. Informed by Keiller's background in fine art and architecture, the films address political, economic and cultural questions by undertaking explorations of landscape, with long, lingering takes of urban, rural and other, in-between spaces and wry, semi-fictional narration, written to accompany these characteristic images.
Writer Owen Hatherley has written on architecture, his love of modernism and the loss of socialist ambition in modern town planning and building. His book A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain highlights the legacy left by New Labour where bright and shiny urban regeneration projects built in areas of urban decay and often to poor standards has meant many have been left empty and tatty looking only a few years after being built.
Keiller's most recent film Robinson in Ruins (2010) is an exploration of landscapes in southern England during 2008, in search of the historical origins of economic and ecological crisis.
Join Patrick and Owen as they discuss what they think urban regeneration has meant in the past few decades and their views on the future of our towns and cities under the current government and beyond.
£12, £11 concessions, £10 members. Book online here or call +44 (0)20 7930 3647.
Institute of Contemporary Arts
London, SW1Y 5AH
+44 (0)20 7930 3647
As the year draws to a close, newspapers have been asking the great and the good which books have most impressed them in 2011. Here we have collected the Verso books that were featured.
In the New Statesman, Guardian and Observer Books of the Year round ups, Hari Kunzru selected two Verso books as standing out from other books published this year. He explained the appeal of the titles to the New Statesman:
With the Occupy movement gaining ground throughout the world, McKenzie Wark's smart overview of the situationist movement, The Beach Beneath the Street: the Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International, feels particularly timely. For years, Laura Oldfield Ford, who is very influenced by situationism, has produced a fanzine, based on her derives around London, with words and beautiful, confrontational line drawings of the city's forgotten people and neglected places. Now, Savage Messiah has been collected in book form. It is a wake-up call to anyone who can only see modern cities through the lens of gentrification.
In the Guardian feature on the Best Books of 2011, a number of Verso titles were selected by those asked.
Among the 2011 books that came my way I particularly welcomed Owen Jones's Chavs, a passionate and well-documented denunciation of the upper-class contempt for the proles that has recently become so visible in the British class system.
I loved two very different books of criticism...[one was] Owen Hatherley's furiously pro-Modernist A Guide to the New Ruins of Britain
Liberalism: A Counter-History by Domenico Losurdo stimulatingly uncovers the contradictions of an ideology that is much too self-righteously invoked.
I'm reading Chris Harman's A People's History of the World. It's really helpful to zoom out from time to time when you're living massive events at very close quarters.