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Why We Wish We Were In London Right Now


Andreas Gursky, Los Angeles
[Collection Glenn Scott Wright. Courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery]

Nope, it's not for the weather. Or the bangers and mash. Or the proliferation of Tescos. And Topshop, of course. Although those are all good reasons. No, we wish we were in London for the latest Turbine Hall exhibit at the Tate Modern: Global Cities.

Global Cities looks at changes in the social and built forms of ten large, dynamic, international cities: Cairo, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo. Drawing on data originally assembled for the 10th Venice Architecture Biennale, the exhibition features both visual art and architectural responses to explore these cities through five thematic lenses: speed, size, density, diversity and form. Guess which one LA falls into? That's right - speed! But it's a double entendre since as a city we're growing rapidly and we're obsessed with cars, natch. Oh, those clever Brits! We also manage to fall into the diversity category (take that, Istanbul!) but the museum's accompanying literature on LA's diversity reads like a bad Wikipedia entry. It also left us scratching our heads a bit with lines like this: "The unemployed tend to congregate in former industrial areas." Are they politely referring to Skid Row? Unemployed actors hanging out in Hollywood? Louche and lazy trustafarians buying condos downtown? We have no clue. But we like the pretty photos.
· Three billion careful owners [Guardian Unlimited]