Best and worst of art bites the dust- Library of Mu

Library of Mu record:
Title: Best and worst of art bites the dust
Date: 12 January, 1994
Journal: The Times
Author: Alison Roberts
Type of resource: News items
Status: text
No. views: 7275
Description: demolition of House, thoughts of East End residents about it

Best and worst of art bites the dust

By Alison Roberts (12 January, 1994, The Times)

Farewell, "House". Rachel Whiteread's sculpture of a terraced house in the East End of London finally bit the dust yesterday leaving a pile of rubble where a symbol of the controversy surrounding modern art once stood.

On the stroke of 10am, a bull dozer clawed at the prize winning sculpture -created by spraying concrete on the inside walls of an existing house and then knocking down the outside brickwork....

The ensuing silence was quickly broken by Sidney Gale, the 71- year-old ex-docker who until July last year lived in the house that Ms Whiteread dismantled. Watching his home of 50 year being turned inside out had been an upsetting experience, he said:

"I thought they were going to build a model of my house, not do this to it. All you can see is the lovely woodwork and mouldings the other way round. I had a lovely front room. I spent my life in it."

Did Mr Gale, who now lives round the corner in a new "plastic" house, think this it was art?

"No not really. I used to do the same thing at the seaside with a bucket and a spade." he said.

The sculpture had grown on Chris Oats, the site manager for the demolition firm. He carried out his task with a cheerful smile. Underneath, however, he was torn in two. "When I first saw it I wondered what all the fuss was about. But being around it for a couple days, I started to like it. It's very ingenious."

The fuss - worldwide media attention, 100,000 visitors and an early-day motion signed by 60 MPs demanding that the sculpture's life be extended - has done Ms Whiteread's career no harm...

She skipped around her work yesterday, taking photographs as the top floor wobbled. "I think it has made people aware of what power a piece of modern art can have," she said.

"House" helped the artist to win both the £20,000 Turner Prize for the best contemporary art and the £40,000 K FOUNDATION prize for the worst, an unprecedented double which provoked hilarity and scorn in equal measure.

Ms Whiteread was philosophical yesterday: "Of course I am sad about this, but I do not have any feelings about whether it won an award for being good or bad. It was just a statement," she said.


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Posted by Guest on 2006-09-29 06:01:08

Correct title from Proquest: Best and worst of art bites the dust Alison Roberts, Arts Reporter. The Times. London (UK): Jan 12, 1994. pg. NOPGCIT kingboyk

Posted by The Librarian on 2007-02-18 22:45:54

Thanks kingboyk

Posted by Guest on 2009-05-15 12:44:03


Posted by Guest on 2012-09-23 13:12:57

My balls itch.

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