Fitzrovia Noir came together informally as an arts collective in early 2008, to document the demise of the 250 year old Middlesex Hospital, in the central London neighbourhood of Fitzrovia. Developers Candy & Candy gave us unfettered access to the site over a series of Saturday afternoons, after the morning demolition shift ended with our gracious host Richard Suggs of McGee, then carefully guiding us through a new labyrinth each week.
This eminent teaching hospital brought together such luminaries as Anthony Epstein and Yvonne Barr who co-discovered the ME virus, that it was clear that its legacy had to be celebrated before it disappeared forever. We brought staff and patients back into rubble-strewn wards, to tell the building’s story, through oral history, photography, image projection and painting. We rescued old lightboxes to use them in installations at other local sites.
Paolo Sedazzari’s film looks at the corporate attempt to rebrand Fitzrovia as NoHo, without any understanding of the area’s true history and relationship with neighbouring Soho, that we fervently opposed and helped to stop. See Viva Fitzrovia on left.
MEMORY & DEMOLITION from the series Responses to Locations in Transition
Nassau / Mortimer / Cleveland / Riding House streets, London W1
Garry Hunter for Fitzrovia Noir
Lucieta Williams for Fitzrovia Noir
Richard Suggs for McGee & Co.
Assemblage, collage, painting, photography, projection
“…compelling portraits of people who formerly worked there, photographed back in the abandoned building…children’s paintings found discarded, ward signs and x-rays, keys and staff notices, paintings of the building by a local artist who lived opposite…”
Lindsey Berthoud, Londonist Review