27 July 2013

Inner space

A talk by Rose Wylie took me back to the ICA, a place I used to go to a lot, especially for lunch with friends, but haven't visited for years. The talk was held in a place I didn't know existed - The Studio - down a concrete corridor and up narrow stairs. During the talk I spent some time wondering about the painting of these pipes, needing a closer look -

The walls hold layers of history. Founded in 1946, the ICA made its way to its current premises in 1968, and during the 1970s was known for its often anarchic programme and administration. This studio space was squatted in the 1970s by an anarchist group, and the director, Norman Rosenthal, was assaulted - such that a bloodstain on the wall of the admin offices is preserved behind plexiglass, with a note reading "This is Norman's blood."
On the staircase - 1970s anarchist grafitti?
Basquiat exhibited at the ICA in 1984, and the story goes that this "palette" also on the stairway is by him -
The Studio itself seems to be a multipurpose room, with areas for storage -
The sign on the door reads, rather ominously, "Judging Area" ... who knows where that door leads ...

More artistic pipes at the top of the stairs -
And at the bottom, framed like a work of art, a switch box -

1 comment:

Olga said...

Like you I have not been to the ICA for years. Indeed I think my last visit was in the late 70s when I worked in London and used to go to lots of interesting talks in that studio room. I had forgotten all about it until I read your post.