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Phoenix opening 11/04/2013

April 11, 2013

OphelieOphelie beginsopening1opening 4opening 3opening 2occupy photosdoorThat it has taken me a week to write this up gives you a clue.  One of two things were a possible explanation for this delay – it had been so overwhelmingly busy and successful that I was in need of a protracted rest to recover. Or……… was very quiet and hard to define what direction the project should take.

It was the latter.  I know we’re well known for being weather obsessed in England, but it really was a dreadfully cold day, with a constant theme of blustery snow showers interspersed with bright sunshine.  Mostly people scurried past under umbrellas, and my fantasies of an open door and cool jazz drifting out to a busy street were just that – a fantasy.  A couple of brave souls ventured in, expressed an interest and left their details, but it really wasn’t the lively, enthusiastic scene I had imagined.

The whole thing was rescued by friends from the Occupy movement, who came with delicious food, and good energy, and who restored my faith in its potential.  We agreed on the importance of spaces that are open to the local community, so that people can come together and discuss things, but also have the opportunity, then and there, to take creative action to express those concerns, to which end it is clear that I need to make a bigger effort to make contact with the local community by making more flyers and leaflets and generally make the project more visible.

As those of you familiar with the Phoenix in Glastonbury know, the project was a 24/7 experiment which I was happy to undertake.  Really enjoying almost every moment of it, my less than robust health alone makes that impossible for the London project, so I will be hoping to find some people willing to help the Phoenix become itself.  Of course I could make it much simpler by agreeing to sell things, but I’m not willing to do that.  The whole ethos resides in the idea that nothing is for sale, that creativity will not be commodified.  Take that away and the Phoenix is just another art space, not that an art space is a ‘bad’ thing and not that artists don’t have to earn a ilving, of course they do and their skills should, I think, be acknowledged in financial terms as well as applause, but not by placing a specific value on the work, which ultimately leads to creativity as investment, which is the apogee of advanced capitalism and how Rolling Stones tickets sell out in 5 minutes whilst some talented 20-something musician glumly stacks shelves in a supermarket, still living at home, always broke, and being denounced on a daily basis by the politicians who brought this plight into being.

Somewhere like the Phoenix aims to provide this person with a place to share their talent, and film makers, writers, poets, knitters, clothes makers, gardeners and cooks and all the other people who transform their materials from the mundane to the remarkable.



From → Thoughts

  1. Gillian Booth permalink

    Thank you, Liz, it is great to see it at last. I really wanted to be there,but this will have to do. Your clarity, as always, shines out from the page.Strength to you!

  2. vica permalink

    Sorry not to have been there. Will come by as soon as I am back stable in that gloomy country 🙂
    I am also looking forward to try to connect more with my future local community, but I can see that it can be quite a challenge, especially in a city such as London. Or better, it is just an aspect that is becoming more and more typical of all our capitalist cities. Even more a reason to believe in the importance of projects like this.

  3. Saskia permalink

    hmmm, thoughtful and insightful comment Liz. The Bush is so different from The Tor. Inspired by your commitment to non commodification. Hope there is more to come. xxxx

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