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The Modernist Magazine: Issue Three

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[THIS WEEK] The third issue of The Modernist sees it cast its eye far beyond its Manchester home, writes James Pallister

Neat, snappy and still in its oversized A5 format, quarterly magazine The Modernist (see AJ 20.07.11) is now in its third issue. This issue includes the usual missives from its normal Lancashire stomping ground – Eddy Rhead recalls Granada TV, which was broadcasting from Manchester while Salford Quays was still a working dock, while Aidan Turner Bishop recalls the tragically short-lived Hornsea Pottery – but it also looks to more exotic climes. There are tales from towerblocks in Leningrad, a Modernist guide to Essex, reports from Canadian oil city Edmonton, and the story of the Lingotto factory by naval architect Matté Trucco that famously features the fantastic racetrack atop.


Showing great magnanimity in overcoming the traditional local rivalry, they’ve even gone as far as Liverpool. In ‘Bust to Bust’, Dan Russell reflects on the legacy of the 1984 Garden Festival, presenting it as a forerunner to the style of cultural and commercial regeneration that caught up with the city in 2008, the year of the European Capital of Culture and the development of Liverpool One. For Russell, the challenge for Liverpool now is to ensure that the ‘what next’ for the city avoids the neglect that the Garden Festival site suffered.


Keeping up the rollicking pace set by Jonathan Meades in the magazine’s first issue, Owen Hatherley’s foreword outlines a Modernist state of mind characterised not by neophilia or nostalgia, but by a commitment ‘to socially useful things – education, public housing, the NHS’. This Modernism of ‘tween-times, between the harsh liberalism of the 19th-century Manchester Mills and the property speculation of today, is ‘something worth fighting for’.


The Modernist, issue three ‘Boom and Bust’, the-modernist-mag.co.uk, £3.75

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