Wednesday, September 10, 2008

roger hiorns chemistry art: seizure

artist roger hiorns is known for using uncommon materials. in his latest exhibition, titled "seizure", hiorns flooded a soon-to-be demolished social housing complex in london with 70-80,000 litres of copper sulfate (a very acidic compound). hiorns cut a hole in the floor of the apartment above, pumped the copper sulfate in, and let the liquid be for several weeks while the temperature of the solution dropped and crystals form. the end result is an apartment covered with blue crystals.

in orgo lab we grew crystals. after meticulous and redundant mixing and draining of chemicals, my lab partner and i watched in sheer awe as immaculate lattice structures formed and the crystals grew. the juice was worth the squeeze on a small scale, so i can only imagine how miraculous walking into a crystal room would feel (maybe it would be like taking a stroll through a ancient and psychedelic egyptian cave covered in gems?)

Adrian Searle, the chief art critic of the guardian newspaper in britain, explains the experience:
 "Every surface is furred and infested; big blue crystals dangle like cubist bats from the light fitting...these crystalline accretions are both fascinating and repellent; all this inorganic growth is alien and alienating, an invasion indifferent to life but also somehow like it."

the apartment is open to the public so check it out if you're in london.  
Roger Hiorns "Seizure"
September 3rd - November 2nd 2008
Artangel at Harper Road, 151-189 Harper Road, London, SE

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