The inhabitants of Kincaid Road, Peckham, got together and decided to exhibit their street as a work of art. Curious visitors were given a huge stack of keys and told they had full access to every home, car, diary, wardrobe, fridge. Every aspect of life was available to respectfully peruse, 24 hours a day (except Wednesdays). The show was instantaneously successful. Slushy gushing reviews shone out of art magazines and culture columns worldwide. Tate Modern was deserted as tourists flocked south. The Arts Council asked if the exhibition could also open on Wednesdays. Chuffed with the success, the residents all agreed to stay open all week. Art collectors began popping up. Sonia Temple was offered £125,000 for her half finished bottle of washing up liquid, which she’d squirted at a neighbour in a playful moment of community bliss. Sonia accepted the money and shared it equally among everyone on Kincaid. Sue Pettersson sold her holiday photos and the camera which took them to the Guggenheim for £245,000 and again, the money was shared evenly among residents. This casual sharing only helped to fuel the feverish appreciation for the exhibition. A beautiful little exhibition guide produced by the people of Kincaid Road became the best selling publication in the UK despite 80% of its contents being pictures of Bart Simpson showing his backside, drawn by the children of Kincaid. All profits from the guide were shared once more, this time to the people living in the surrounding area, on Geldart Road, Pennethorne Road, Meeting House Lane and R & B Home Video. Envelopes full of cash would simply arrive in the post with a brief note.
Eventually, the popularity of the show became too much. Visitors had to wait far too long to go from packed room to packed room, and residents couldn’t help feeling a bit crowded. Armed with flowers. everyone living on Kincaid Road wandered over to Geldart Road and asked if they’d like to open up their homes to the public, to extend the exhibition. Being both well cultured and financially astute, the Geldartians agreed unanimously. A skeleton key was produced which would open everything on both roads. Visitors loved the extra level of freedom and the much less clunky single key. Luckily, every home and personality on Geldart Road was fascinating to explore and the smitten reviews continued to sparkle. More and more tourists made a bee-line to the intricate, vast exhibition. Time passed and more and more streets were added, growth continued at a giddy pace. Money poured into the district, as museums and galleries around the world filled up with parts of Peckham, which served to constantly transform the original exhibition, keeping it fresh with housing extensions, new toilet seat covers, new clothes, hairstyles, mugs, ashtrays, books, pans, bras, pets, stereos, etc. etc. Eventually the whole of Peckham had become a gigantic kinetic sculpture, infinitely detailed, infinitely weird, infinitely colourful, infinitely open and infinitely more beautiful than anything that had come before it.
www.michaelcrowe.org

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