Is anyone else a bit conflicted about this? For the past few months. I've been going past trying to figure out what was happening and naively hoped that the developers had decided to keep the building and were restoring it behind the facade.
To find out that it's an artwork for a festival funded by the property developers who are destroying all the heritage buildings and turning Blackfriars into glass and steel blandsville is, to a fan of the arts, confusing.
The piece itself is interesting, I like it, and it draws attention to how the area is being reconfigured in an eye-catching way. But in the end, what really seems to be topsy turvy, is that all the piece does is further the PR campaign for the spurious Blackfriars Mile agenda (from grot to gloss!) and help make the area so expensive that no artist (or anyone who can't afford £600,000 for a one bed flat) can ever live here. It's yet another case of creative capital being used to push a private investor development-led agenda. Or perhaps I'm being too cynical. It does seem a shame though that community interests could never afford a similar project, in order to put across a counter argument - ie. preserve the buildings of character. Protect the streetscape. Keep it humane and historically diverse. Use the site for community infrastructure, not just offices or luxury housing.
Perhaps though there is scope to try and use the piece for a more community message, any thoughts?