Roger Hiorns, Seizure, 2008/2013

Arts Council Collection

Roger Hiorns, Seizure 2008/2012
Film commissioned by
Arts Council Collection

With Seizure, 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 on display.

Credits
Filmmaker: William Simpson
Produced by Omni Studio
Second Camera: Casey Antwis
Aerials: VuAir
Music: Simon McCorry, Audi Network
Archive Footage: Sam Blair, Art Angel