De Chirico and London as Exoskeleton

Visiting the deserted city during lockdown

by Lewis Duncan

23rd May 2020

Since lockdown began more than six weeks ago, I’ve started to view the unfolding events and adapting city life framed by architecture. It feels as though more people are walking down my street than ever before while others aren’t able to leave the house at all and fear the narrow pavements of London’s residential pockets. People, presence and space are variables of the ‘new normal’. The (social) distance, anonymity, solitude and confusion/misinformation affecting people in many different ways evoke a sentimentality which I find in Giorgio De Chirico’s metaphysical paintings.

Gare Montparnasse, Giorgio De Chirico, 1914 © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome