Through photography, film, sound and performance, contemporary artists will offer a snapshot of the people and places that give life to the city, from the polarising extreme views expressed on social media and the hub of social interaction in the barber shop, to the contesting of outdoor public space.
Artists including Faisal Abdu’Allah, Ruth Ewan, James Fritz, Oliver Payne & Nick Relph, John Riddy and the archive from Long Live Southbank will offer a modern reading of the capital and its social challenges. A Rake’s Progress depicts the social conditions of London in narrating the decline and fall of a young man, Tom Rakewell, who inherits a fortune and embarks on a profligate lifestyle in fashionable London before succumbing to financial ruin and madness. It was bought for Pitzhanger in 1802 for £598.10 from the auction house, Christie’s, to be shown alongside Soane’s growing collection of art and antiquities, from the ancient to the contemporary. When Soane sold Pitzhanger in 1810, he transported the paintings to his central London home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, now Sir John Soane’s Museum, which is loaning the series to the exhibition.