Roger Hiorns’s site-specific 2009 Turner Prize-nominated installation “Seizure” (2008) — for which he filled an apartment in a condemned building with a solution of copper sulphate that then formed blue crystals on its walls — was feared to be doomed by the imminent demolition of south London’s Elephant and Castle, where it is housed, but the otherworldly blue room has been saved in the eleventh hour.
The installation has been donated to the Arts Council Collection, and will go on view along with the organization’s other sculptures in Yorkshire Sculpture Park next spring. For the time being “Seizure” is in storage.
Many were concerned that Hiorns’s work would meet the same fate as Rachel Whiteread’s “House” — 1993’s Turner Prize-winner, a concrete cast of a Victorian house, which was demolished by the Council the following year.
“We were all motivated by an enduring regret about what happened to that – through the determination of a Tower Hamlets councillor to demolish it – and I felt, ‘Let’s not have that again,’” Arts Council Collection director Caroline Douglas told the Guardian. “‘Seizure’ had created a huge following, and whenever I spoke to people about it, the response was instantaneous.”
Hiorns, for his part, remained philosophical about his piece’s fate. “It was always about a sense of homelessness or nomadic energy, and of inconclusiveness,” he told the Guardian. “The object will now have an unknowable future: it will tentatively make its way in the world.”
— Benjamin Sutton