Launch of Richard Wentworth
Launch of Richard Wentworth's 'Known Unknowns'

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Launch of Richard Wentworth's 'Known Unknowns'

Richard wentworth 'agora' bold tendencies 2015 commission %c2%a9 quentin lake 2

Richard Wentworth 'Agora' Bold Tendencies 2015 Commission © Quentin Lake

Bold Tendencies was the perfect place to stage a discussion about London and Wentworth’s work - a multi-storey carpark, art space, bar and cafe, the venue embodies the immutably creative spirit of a city which might seem poised on a sterile, corporate precipice.

Plinth's newest edition, Richard Wentworth’s ‘Known Unknowns’, launched on July 5th with a conversation about the city which inspired it, at Bold Tendencies in Peckham.

Bold Tendencies was the perfect place to stage a discussion about London and Wentworth’s work - a multi-storey carpark, art space, bar and cafe, the venue embodies the immutably creative spirit of a city which might seem poised on a sterile, corporate precipice. Wentworth’s ‘Agora’, a large-scale, abstract piece installed in 2015, winds across the concrete of its top level, insinuating itself into the fabric of the modern landscape as well as harking back to something ancient – ‘folkloric’ or even geological.

Richard wentworth 'agora' bold tendencies 2015 commission %c2%a9 quentin lake

Richard Wentworth 'Agora' Bold Tendencies 2015 Commission © Quentin Lake

‘Known Unknowns’ is a bowl made of white, glazed bone china. The simple forms of plates and bowls rhyme readily with London’s gentle topographies, and ‘LONDON’, printed in the centre, comes to constitute a six-letter cipher. This in turn proposes the way that its inhabitants ingest, digest, and pass through the city as a whole, and through the boroughs named around the rim. Of course, some of these will be ‘known’, and others ‘unknown’, depending entirely on the individual viewer’s relationship and history with the city.

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Richard Wentworth, 'Known Unknowns', 2015

As a means of broadening the scope of the discussion, we involved the audience and incorporated their stories and personal relationships with the city.

The event considered the nature of our changing city and identity within it. Wentworth was in conversation with journalist Rowan Moore, who has recently published his book 'Slow Burn City: London in the Twenty First Century'. The writing grapples with the plight of London in our times: unprecedented and self-consuming, but with room for hope of an organic regeneration; naturally, the conversation was lent a new urgency by the recent decision about London and England’s place within Europe and the international community. As a means of broadening the scope of the discussion, we involved the audience and incorporated their stories and personal relationships with the city.

The talk was chaired by Stella Ioannou, co-director of Sculpture In The City. Rowan Moore is architecture critic of the Observer and was named Critic of the Year at the UK press awards 2014. He is the author of 'Why We Build', published in 2012 and his latest book is 'Slow Burn City: London in the Twenty First Century'.

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