‘Alt-right’ Hackney art gallery to change its name

Protests last month at LD50 gallery, Hackney. Pic: Oliver Chapman

The head of a Dalston gallery that put on a controversial alt-right art show last month has rejected claims it has been forced out of its premises, but has filed to change the name of the company.

Protest group Shutdown LD50! revealed those behind the LD50 gallery inTottenham Road – which also hosted a Neoreaction conference last year featuring far-right speakers – had applied to change the company name to Tiverse in a tweet last week.

The group went on to claim it had shut down the space, via its Tumblr page, saying: “Grassroots campaign shuts down far right art gallery!”

Lucia Diego, who owns LD50, denied this, telling the Hackney Citizen: “I will not be responding to false information that appears on a Tumblr [account]. Any announcements about LD50 gallery will come from me, and not third parties.”

In another interview with the Independent she said the gallery was temporarily closed due to vandalism. She told the website: “The gallery is here, but unfortunately we are closed since the attacks begun and I don’t know when we will be able to resume. The police have told us that for the time being it’s not safe to be around, so we haven’t been able to work in the office or anything.”

But the change of name has raised questions over the future location of the gallery. The filings for the change of name, which can be found here, report that the business is now registered to an address in Regent’s Canal, just north of central London.

Last Thursday, a representative of LD50 criticised the government’s involvement in the arts on Twitter.  The account, run under the pseudonym @KANTBOT10K, called for greater acceptance in the arts saying: “What we lack isn’t culture. It’s taste. A way to discern the good from the bad. A way not only to consume but DIGEST culture.”

Jim Ascaso, editor of Libcom, one of the groups responsible for the LD50 gallery protests, told Eastlondonlines he would be surprised if a new LD50 “wasn’t met with a similar level of protest; although the level of protest could be lower if she (Lucia Diego) tries opening something in an area outside inner London”.

When asked about the threat of the LD50 gallery, Ascaso said: “I’m not convinced the gallery was a massive threat. Anti-fascists who monitor the far-right closely weren’t aware of LD50 until artists discovered what was going on.

“Far-right meetings like the London Forum, which draw large numbers of active neo-Nazis, are probably more deserving of anti-fascists’ attention,” he added.

LD50 declined to comment on questions asked about its future.

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