Completed during 2008, Seizure forms another component of the strikingly ambitious and large-scale Artangel commissions. Hiorns,it could be argued, was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2009 on the back of this infinitely beguiling and somewhat disconcerting creation.Following on from Whiteread and Schneider Hiorns plays with notions of familiarity and inevitably, spectacle, in transforming a dingy bedsit in London’s East End with the help of eighty thousand litres of copper sulphate solution. When the tiny flat had been primed with steel, it was then pumped with this transformative solution and left for four months. Of course, Hiorns could never have fully anticipated the result as although hypothetically speaking it should work, no one could truly know what would happen, if anything. But it worked out well, the blue crystals quickly colonising their environment. The flat, which outwardly adheres to a certain kind of failed modernist aesthetic, had taken on a life of its own, in contrast to the finite nature of those aesthetic ideals. Although, Hiorns aim was to “violate the building’s identity” some trace remains, which gives the transformation its weight. After all, if we could not experience these traces of an identity, of a past life, then the piece loses all meaning, it might as well be a set from a tacky sci-fi film. The work is by definition experiential, the visitor corrupts the once-pure space simply through his being there. The crystals lose their marvellous perfection and become like a kind of toxic sludge. Their entropy is stopped in its tracks through the viewer’s interruption. And then I suppose we wonder should we be there at all? Perhaps thats the point, I’m not quite sure. Without having seen the piece I can only speculate. However the space, in the artists words, exists as a kind of psychological manifestation, and a delicate one at that…


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