3C: Risky Capitalism

When we began our survey of the Egyptian Halls, two things caught our interest more than the others. The first was how so many Glaswegians viewed the Egyptian Halls as an indispensable part of the city, and the second was how this “monument” has been covered up entirely by advertisements. To truly understand the significance of the building and why it was so special, we looked at the archives in the Mitchell Library, comparing them to the current state of the building.

Plans of the Egyptian Halls from 1901 at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow

Seeing the Egyptian Halls in a new light, and as a monument, led us to our second realisation. Stemming from how it’s illegal to put posters on public properties and especially monuments, we realised that commercialism had led exactly that to happen to the Egyptian Halls. Do the advertisements on the scaffolding covering this iconic building not resemble the posters that are usually called vandalism? How were we protecting this building by covering it up?

Entry of the Egyptian Halls from the archives of the Mitchell Library

We then ventured to think of a dystopia wherein advertisements have taken over architecture. More than the architectural significance of the building, the money it can make has come to the fore. So much so that the building has been covered entirely in the advertisements.

The façade of the Egyptian Halls hidden by advertisements

By trying to save the building, are we threatening its very essence? Or is a building more than just its façade? Through our presentation and film, 3C aims to pose difficult questions that need to be addressed.

September 18th 2:19 pm