The first thing I want to do is to cite a definition of modernity. It comes not from recent debates in feminist theory or aesthetics or cultural studies, but from a paper called ‘Development in the Retail Scene’ given in Perth in 1981 by John
Lennen of Myer Shopping Centres. To begin his talk (to a seminar organized by the Australian Institute of Urban Studies), Lennen told this fable: ‘As Adam and Eve were leaving the Garden of Eden, Adam turned to Eve and said, “Do not be
distressed, my dear, we live in times of change.”’1 After quoting Adam, Lennen went on to say, ‘Cities live in times of change. We must not be discouraged by change, but rather we must learn to manage change.’ He meant that the role of shopping centres was changing from what it had been in the 1970s, and that
retailers left struggling with the consequences (planning restrictions, post-boom economic conditions, new forms of competition) should not be discouraged, but should change their practices accordingly.