The old conservative party headquarters at 32 Smiths Square is synonymous with Margaret Thatcher smiling and waving gleefully out of the window on the 2nd floor, after winning the elections of 1979/83/87. The building was the home of the Conservative party from1958 to 2003 and thus represents an important period within our political history. It is common knowledge that Thatcher took a vehement stand against persistently contested European integration and hence the photographic representation of the space will perhaps suggest a degree of satire. The building will re-open as ‘Europe House’ in October 2010 and the symbolism of the dulled shades of blue, peeling paintwork and iconography of past alliances will inevitably draw comparisons between the previous use of the building and the hope and importance of the buildings future inhabitants.
The project is now presented in a book called CHATEAU DESPAIR, published by a new company called GOST Books. They are a photography and visual arts publishers founded by Gordon MacDonald and Stuart Smith, and based in London. To order directly from the publishers click on the title above. To see a video of the publication click here.
Essays by Sarah James and Jeremy Till can be read here