London Building Torn Apart by Earthquake or Art

By Gary Cutlack on at

Has this building been torn apart by an earthquake? Have its foundations been undermined by a pop star's super basement excavations? Or is the boring reason for the tear in its facade that it's just a bit of art?

Yes, it's just a bit of art. UK-based artist Alex Chinneck had the big idea, an idea that used 4,000 bricks and probably some scaffolding to create what looks like a rip in the side of the Assembly London building in Hammersmith. Do not panic, local people, it is not falling down. It is a bit of art called Six Pins and a Half Dozen Needles, that probably says something deep about divisions in society or something about the housing crisis.

What it also says is that Chinneck could have a decent career as a brickie should his art grants dry up, as the structure stands separate to the building, built upon a steel framework that's attached to its companion for safety.

He explained the work with something typically arty, saying: "I arrived at 'Six Pins and Half a Dozen Needles' by divorcing two things that are inherently linked, placing pins and needs on opposing sides. I use well-known expressions because I think people feel an immediate acquaintance with them. Surrealism is the warping of the world around us and both my work and my titles look to distort familiarity with a measured portion of fantasy."

Yeah, great, whatever. Can you make me a shed or plaster over the damp bit in the bedroom? [Dezeen]

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