The Arts Council Collection has announced that Untitled (Seizure) by Turner Prize 2009 nominee Roger Hiorns has been saved from demolition and will go on display at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in spring 2013. The gift to the Arts Council Collection has been made possible by the artist, Artangel and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation through the Art Fund, with the support of The Henry Moore Foundation.
Seizure was originally an Artangel/Jerwood commission, Roger Hiorns transformed an empty council flat in Southwark, London, into a sparkling blue environment of copper sulphate crystals. The immersive work, first opened to the public in autumn 2008, was created using 75,000 litres of liquid copper sulphate, which was pumped into the former council flat to create a strangely beautiful and somewhat menacing crystalline growth on the walls, floor, ceiling and bath of the abandoned dwelling.
“Destined to be remembered as one of the truly worthwhile and significant moments of modern British art” (Jonathan Jones, The Guardian), 151-189 Harper Road, near Elephant & Castle became a site of pilgrimage, with hundreds of people making their way across the capital to the anonymous council flat each day. The exhibit closed to the public in January 2010.
Faced with the demolition of the social housing block in early 2011, the piece was acquired by the Arts Council Collection, thanks to a gift by the artist, Artangel and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation through the Art Fund, with the support of The Henry Moore Foundation. The work, weighing over 31 tonnes, was successfully extracted from the property in February 2011. The extraction involved meticulous planning: one wall of the flat had to be removed before the whole structure was pushed out of the building using hydraulic jacks and craned onto the back of a low loader.
The work was subsequently transported to Yorkshire Sculpture Park where it is currently in storage awaiting its new installation. Untitled (Seizure), as the work will now be known, is the subject of a 10-year loan agreement between the Arts Council Collection and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It will open to the public in spring 2013. More details to be announced.
Roger Hiorns said: “Given the choice between an imprecise myth of the past and an unknowable future, the latter was always going to be more interesting, more of a problem. As an object removed from its origin it’s forever in limbo – nomadic and unplaceable, and will continue to be. If you have the opportunity to complicate things, you should always take it.”
Roger Hiorns (b. 1975 in Birmingham) is a London-based artist known for working with unusual materials to effect surprising transformations on found objects and urban situations. Hiorns has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, and has a number of works in public collections across the country including the Arts Council Collection. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2009.
Photo: Courtesy Of Artangel