Livingstone-heritage and the interstitial spectres of Trafalgar Square
by Toby Juliff
International Journal of Tourism Anthropology (IJTA), Vol. 3, No. 2, 2013

Abstract: In Specters of Marx: The State of Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International, Jacques Derrida examines a set of co-terminous terms: spectres, ghosts, apparitions and spirits. These, he argues, constitutes a discourse on 'hauntology'. Hauntology is a discourse that examines the language with which we address the apparition, the ghost. As an interstitial concept it lies between presence and absence, between the living and the dead; it is an examination of the language we use in confronting the spectre. This paper examines the usefulness of hauntology in reading the heritage policy of former London Mayor Ken Livingstone during his tenure 2000-2008. Livingstone's project of defenestration and destruction of a number of notable London monuments signalled a failure to critically address the memorialisation of colonialism and the British Imperial project in India. Following on from Deborah Cherry's initial reading of what will be identified as 'Livingstone-heritage', this paper takes the reading further in examining the wider implications and potential of reading the interstitial spectres of London. In looking at the work of a number of contemporary British artists, this paper addresses the inadequacy of 'Livingstone-heritage' through an examination of the Fourth Plinth Project and in wider practices of visual and literary culture.

Online publication date: Sun, 12-Jan-2014

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