Artangel, who commission art for unusual spaces, worked with artist, architect and conservationist Jorge Otero-Pailos. Pailos made a cast of the east wall of the thousand-year-old Westminster Hall using latex. This application process can be used carefully to clean and restore old buildings.
Normally, you throw a cleaning rag away after use, like a wet wipe, but what happens when you keep it? What happens when you display it to the public? The fifty metre long latex strip was stored for five years. Now it hangs impressively along the length of Westminster Hall at the Houses of Parliament so that people can see the soot, grime and smears that have been lifted from the stone. The sheet is lit from behind to give it a yellow glow.
The name of the installation is actually taken from a work by John Ruskin, the Victorian critic and artist who argued for more sympathetic conservation processes in an age of aggressive and destructive restoration. Yet many will lay a contemporary interpretation on this rubber sheet to be forensically examined.
With all that has happened in British politics from the end of June, to see this sheet hanging there like parliament's dirty laundry should be an arresting pilgrimage for those interested in current affairs and history alike. It will be interesting to see how many will pass over the cleaned wall to see the dirty latex and how many comparisons will be drawn with Britain's potentially murky future.
A ticket is required to visit and can be booked below.
|What||The Ethics of Dust, Artangel and Jorge Otero-Pailos, Westminster Hall|
|Where||Westminster Hall, Westminster Palace, London, SW1A 0AA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Westminster (underground)|
29 Jun 16 – 01 Sep 16, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
|Website||Click here too book via the Parliament website|