It was always going to be this way. I watch them pack away, the walls stripped back to bare, or else left etched with only a pencil sketch to remember what happened. Echoes fade, so too the scent of burnt herbs. It returns, slowly the building will be given back to the economy that rejected it. I wonder if number 58 has enjoyed its time as a creative space… I wonder, was it always a creative space, perhaps trapped inside a courthouse body? The 21 remove their lighting, remove their easels, remove brushes of paint, empty jam jars filled with coloured water.
I wonder how they survive the rest of the time, the other 364 days of the year, before and after the economy spat out number 58… gave it to them as a place to call their own, for only a day in a series of 21. Outside I watch the people – the pedestrians – walking back from work, the dusk takes them, they fade from employee back briefly to human. The flagstones of the pavement are laid silent, silent but for the tap of a shoe, of a shoe, the tap of a shoe, of a shoe. The artists leave their space as a street sweeper drives by, sweeping the streets. Indicating at the last moment, a taxi driver swerves in, pulling to the kerb for a lawyer who has left her office. From across London, people come to see the art, an evening at a time, culture with public liability insurance.
We go about our ringfenced lives, the leisure timeslot turns briefly to relaxation and then to sleep and back to work. The artists create the art, the lawyers create the law, the taxi drivers drive the taxis. The system works.