## The Possibility of Life's Survival on the Planet

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 11:33:59 -0300

[Found this on my laptop; was written a few months back when I was in the UK]

Patrick Keiller - The Possibility of Life's Survival on the Planet

Visited the Tate Britain (ie the old Tate, North of the river), near
Pimlico, today.  It was very good, in a rather odd way.  Partly,
perhaps, because some of its glory has been stolen by the Tate Modern,
and partly because, as a consequence of its changing role, it is being
refurbished, it has the air of a smaller, more local gallery - less
busy, more personal, more idiosyncratic and, curiously, more English.

In the main hall, displayed as if in a church hall (on wooden stands,
off from the wall), was a selection of (generally smaller) pieces from
the collection, arranged to illustrate the story of Robinson's final
activities.  Robinson being someone who believed he was in contact
with aliens, concerned about the future of the planet, and who was
exploring the current malaise (then being the financial crisis of
2008).

Robinson also being the ficitious creation of Patrick Keiller.  Who
has a sense of humour, a surprisingly varied knowledge about the UK
and its history, and a frustrated anger.  The result made me curiously
homesick for a country that I don't think I ever really knew.

Yesterday I visited the Tate Modern and the National Gallery.  Old
pictures everywhere have been cleaned to a surprising degree.  I guess
I last spent time trekking round these galaries in earnest some 20
years ago.  Everything was much grimier then.  The change is quite
violent.  Is it really all OK?

Andrew