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Written on January 29, 2006, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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In one of the most bizarre and controversial pieces of public art ever conceived and executed, in the London Borough of Islington, London, UK, situationist artists have converted the streets into beaches, hiring local builders to enhance pavements and traffic islands and replacing them with continental-style sandy walkways and mosaics.

Opposite local landmark Islington Central Library, a large hole full of water has appeared. Residents are concerned that they may soon be using a bridge or a boat to cross the Holloway Road.

This part of Islington is close to the new Arsenal Emirates stadium, which is due to open later this year, and with the London-Paris eurotunnel train coming soon to nearby extensively redeveloped Kings Cross station, local resident spokesman Dwayne Honcho said that there had been rumours that the area was going to be continentally “themed” in order to attract euro-tourism.

“I’d never heard the phrase, ‘underneath the pavement lies the beach’ before,” he said, “but now none of us can get the thought out of our minds.” It’s not Dwayne’s cup of tea – he prefers Renoir and the impressionists. “There is a grouping within the council who want to create a money-making “euro-zone” within Islington, and they are using art to do it,” claims local milkman Hugh Manerra. “People don’t want this on their doorsteps.”

In the Christian Centre in Liverpool Road opposite St Mary Magdalene’s church gardens, they are equally mystified. “We thought they looked a bit odd for roadworks,” said Pastor Ulf Knudsen. “They move the signs and sand around most days. You never know when you’ll have to tread on a shell. I think it’s quite fun, I don’t think it’s allegorical. I did see a bottle on one sandpile, and I wondered if there was a message in it.”

As people struggle to negotiate paths and pavements, questions are being asked about the situationist’s radical and disruptive philosophy. Local residents are suffering the inconvience good-naturedly in the main, but nobody seems to know who has organised the exhibition. Local authority Islington Council spokesman said yesterday that they are “unaware of any such commission” and “looking into the matter”. Arsenal Football Club were unavailable for comment.

At present no trace can be found of the artists, who are believed to be from Lyon, France.

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This thing has 4 Comments

  1. RuKsaK
    Posted 30 January, 2006 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Hilarious! Still makes me miss home though.

  2. transience
    Posted 30 January, 2006 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    my city needs more concerned citizens.

  3. Tim Young
    Posted 31 January, 2006 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    hi Deek,

    As you keep your email address well hidden I thought I’d leave a comment here! I’ve listened to and liked your pod of funk podcasts and have linked to you on my UK MP3 blog!

    Thanks, Tim Young

    the face of today

  4. Twit
    Posted 2 July, 2008 at 10:29 pm | Permalink


    Life’s a beach & then ya blog it..


    Damn, I miss your photos.
    (more on that story later¦:¬|

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