Literally and metaphorically, Goldsmiths occupies a strange space in south-east London. Thanks to the infamous Will Alsop-designed Ben Pimlott Building, the University of London college, founded in 1891 and brought into the UoL fold back in 1904, is visible from pretty much anywhere between Bermondsey and Bromley. Having played host to the likes of Bridget Riley, the lads from Blur, and a stash of the YBAs, the college stands out culturally, too.
Opening on 8 September, the Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art is a brand new gallery space in the heart of New Cross itself. The first exhibition, which runs until 4 November celebrates the work of New York-based video and installation artist Mika Rottenberg. Future shows include an Ivor Cutler retrospective, and the first large-scale showing of work by influential feminist photographer Alexis Hunter.
Described by the Guardian architectural critic Oliver Wainwright as feeling, “excavated as much as made, a series of spaces that have been discovered and their special qualities amplified,” it offers eight exhibition areas. Housed in a former public baths, and designed by Turner winning architecture collective Assemble, the CCA promises to “allow the university’s neighbours, students and staff, and audiences from further afield to benefit from having a world-class centre for the visual arts on their doorstep.”
When asked how the CCA planned to bridge the gap between Goldsmiths as an institute, the CCA as a gallery space, and New Cross as a busy and bustling local community, Sarah McCrory, director of Goldsmiths CCA tells It’s Nice That, that they are in the process of recruiting an educational curator who will, “work with the university, the gallery, and residents,” on “activities, talks, and workshops”. These will, in theory, “bridge the gap between the art world and people who’ve never stepped foot in a gallery before.”
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