One of the oldest markets in London, Leadenhall Market dates from the 14th century, and is located to the east of Gracechurch Street. Originally a place to buy meat, poultry and game, it is now home to a number of boutique retailers, restaurants, cafes, wine bars and pubs. The current arcade structure was designed in 1881 by Sir Horace Jones (who was also the architect of Billingsgate and Smithfield Markets) and is a Grade II listed building. The double-height entrance is flanked by tall, narrow, gabled red-brick and Portland stone blocks, and the ornate roof structure is painted red, cream and gold. The interior has cast-iron Corinthian columns and the cobbled streets come together in a central octagonal area beneath a stunning star-painted ceiling.
This site-specific sonic work is the artist’s response to Leadenhall Market. Kakinoki chose the place because of his ongoing research interest in the culinary culture and human history.
Considering the market’s historical identity as a fresh food market, the market has changed a lot, while its streets and alleys remain almost identical to what they used to be hundreds of years ago. Fenchurch Street, Leadenhall Street, Lime Street, Gracechurch Street, which surrounds the market today, can be found in the A to Z map of Elizabethan London made in around 1560.
The artist's research went from the old maps of the area, the historical books on the subject, the literary works and the advertisements in different centuries depicting the past of the market, to the culinary history of England around meat and fish. Along with the research, Kakinoki visited the market at different times to observe it, eat and drink in the shops, talk to the merchants of today, and soak himself into the visible and invisible history of it.
In the work, the conflicting layers of the spoken words on the multiple aspects extracted from the researched histories, the field recording of the artist walking in the current market while talking to himself and people at different hours, and the noisy interludes generated from the sounds recorded at the site including construction work, invite the audience to dive into the place, with various elements including historical dynamicity, transience and dignity inherent in the market. The spoken words were read by artist Doran Edwards, whose family have roots in East London.
Doran Edwards, the people in Leadenhall Market, Kakinoki Masato
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Michael Koullas, Raffaella Moreira, Martin Lau, Lionel Ward, Tan Wang, Jonny Tanna, Andrew Cheng, Andrew Lewis