The Museum of Neoliberalism, which this month welcomes back visitors, is a brave undertaking, full of ironic and hilarious twists and takes, deploying a wicked Orwellian double-think to mock and expose neoliberal marketing and branding.
Author Lilian Pizzichini ventured deep into London’s southeast to discover that the museum is surrounded by unintentional and unironic exhibits. Their starkness is just as incisive as the installations inside. Lewisham, and Lee Green, in particular, display the devastation that affects a city like London, sprawling and disconnected. It is a dead end for the tenants of tower blocks, and yet across the road from these peeling blocks and empty malls are the detached villas of the gentrified classes. So we see continuing and worsening deprivation in the working classes alongside the houses of the rich, safe in their “café societies” and boutique shops.
The Museum of Neoliberalism can be found at 16 Eltham Road, London SE12 8TF. Darren Cullen is the creator/curator of this satirical paean to late capitalism and its consequences. In the following clips he answers some questions set by RDM. Lilian Pizzichini was there to record him and to take some photographs of the museum and its surroundings in southeast London.
Darren, who is a full-time artist, explains how the museum began at The World Transformed event in Brighton (on the occasion of the 2019 Labour Party conference) before it moved to London’s southeast. Neoliberalism comes across as a cynical construct, a monster to be undermined, challenged and finally replaced with a different, human-planet based society.