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The Haunting of L.S. Lowry: Class, Mass Spectatorship and the Image at The Lowry, Salford, UK

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  • Zoë Thompson

    () (School of Cultural Studies and Humanities, Leeds Metropolitan University, Broadcasting Place A214, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9EN, UK)

Abstract

In a series of momentary encounters with the surface details of The Lowry Centre, a cultural venue located in Salford, Greater Manchester, UK, this article considers the fate of the image evoked by the centre’s production and staging of cultural experience. Benjamin’s notion of ‘aura’ as inimical to transformations of art and cultural spectatorship is explored, alongside its fatal incarnation in Baudrillard’s concept of ‘simulation’. L.S. Lowry, I argue, occupies the space as a medium: both as a central figure of transmission of the centre’s narrative of inclusivity through cultural regeneration, and as one who communes with phantoms: remainders of the working-class life and culture that once occupied this locale. Through an exploration of various installations there in his name, Lowry is configured as a ‘destructive character’, who, by making possible an alternative route through its spaces, refuses to allow The Lowry Centre to insulate itself from its locale and the debt it owes to its past.

Suggested Citation

  • Zoë Thompson, 2013. "The Haunting of L.S. Lowry: Class, Mass Spectatorship and the Image at The Lowry, Salford, UK," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(4), pages 1-16, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsoctx:v:3:y:2013:i:4:p:332-347:d:29691
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    aura; simulation; The Lowry; cultural regeneration; haunting; class;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • P - Economic Systems
    • P0 - Economic Systems - - General
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P3 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions
    • P4 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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