Sunday 5 October 2008

Seizure - Blue Crystal Interior Installation

Just a stones throw away from my campus at Elephant and Castle I had heard of that a new Art Installation called ‘Seizure’ that had opened just around the corner. Being curious I wanted to see what all the excitement was about I made my way to Harper Road, just along the New Kent Road to see Roger Hiorns latest project. The day was a typical grey London Autumn / Winter day which added to the feeling of desolation to the area that is surrounded with post-war housing estates, a secondary school and a park.
Walking into a type of Cour d'Honneur that was surrounded with boarded up low rise apartments we arrived on site. At one end of the block a queue had formed. After waiting for a few minutes in an opposite derelict empty apartment with metal grills, a smashed bath and patterned wallpaper peeling from the walls, we were issued with gloves and changed into rubber boots before making our way across the Cour d'Honneur to an opposite apartment.
The whole interior space of a couple of rooms (bedroom and bathroom) had been stripped and secured with a steel reinforced tank and liquid slow cooling copper sulphate solution poured in and left for two weeks. What was so extraordinary and such an interesting contradiction was how incredibly depressing the apartments were and then suddenly you are presented with this ‘oasis’ or artists refuge. I couldn't help wonder who had lived in the space prior to the installation and how possibly ‘loaded’ it was with emotions. Could someone have been born there? Did someone at some point die there? The emotional narratives of these spaces always creep into my mind.
The crystals had formed from floor to ceiling covering every inch of the horizontal and vertical planes. The floor was quite uneven and tidal ridges had formed and boot prints marked the floor. The remaining lighting had enormous crystals hanging from them and after squeezing through the crystal encrusted walls into the bath room the outline of the bath could be seen although I did suddenly feel that I would have liked to have seen more of these encrusted forms such as furniture that may have been left in the space, however the space was stunning.
Proceeding back to return my boots and gloves in the opposite derelict apartment, what I did find particularly interested is how the buildings reflect each other in size and space and in some way become a kind of before and after, although of course this was probably never the intention. However, how could we learn from this artist in developing our own concepts within Interior Design? What other applications could it have? How could this concept be translated into workable environment?
The images below are of the bathrooms in the 'Seizure' apartment and the reflected apartment opposite.

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