If London Looked in the Mirror
‘When is a Londoner not a Londoner? When does a long-term visitor become a Londoner? What makes people into Londoners? What must you know to be a Londoner? How long does it last?’
Richard Wentworth, London, June 2005
If London Looked in the Mirror (2005), by Richard Wentworth, was a print project distributed on the London Underground network. The work prompts a consideration of how London has evolved and proposes a scheme for re-acquainting Londoners with their city. The naming (and renaming) of London’s parts has a contradictory history. Through a rearrangement of names on a rethought map of the city and a proposal for twinning its many boroughs, destinations, villages and landmarks, Wentworth’s project aims to ensure that London’s inhabitants become thoroughly familiarized with places previously unknown to them.
To accompany If London Looked in the Mirror, Wentworth was commissioned to devise a unique tour originating at Frieze Art Fair, winding its way out into the local environs of Regent’s Park and beyond. Wentworth offered commentary on the immediate surroundings and expanded on ideas proposed in If London Looked in the Mirror.
If London Looked in the Mirror was commissioned by London Underground’s Platform for Art and Frieze Projects. The tour was accessible to the art fair audience and took place on Friday 21 – Sunday 23 October at 2pm. Access to the tours was included in the Frieze Art Fair admission ticket.
Richard Wentworth (b.1947) is a British artist based in London. Wentworth has a prolific history of international exhibitions, recent solo shows include Tate Liverpool (2005) Glad that things don’t talk, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2003) and An Area of Outstanding Unnatural Beauty, produced by Artangel, London (2002). Wentworth has been included in such seminal shows as ‘Material Culture: The Object in British Art of the 1980s and 1990s’, Hayward Gallery, London (1997) and ‘Blast to Freeze – British Art in the 20th century’, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2002).