One of London’s greatest buildings, the Houses of Parliament, will soon become part of a vast artwork which will showcase the dust and dirt that has built up on the building's internal stone walls over the past two centuries.
Commissioned by Artangel, the pioneering art funding body behind Rachel Whiteread’s House, 1993 and Jeremy Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave, 2001, Spanish artist Jorge Otero-Pailos used a monumental sheet of latex over 50 metres long and six metres high to collect every grain of dust, pollution and smoke that has built up on a huge internal wall.
Titled The Ethics of Dust Otero-Pailos had the walls painted with latex and left to absorb the dust over three days, before the latex was peeled off and woven together. It is then planned that the wall will be suspended metres away from the original wall and lit so that it becomes translucent.
Otero-Pailos is questioning why when historic buildings are cleaned we thrown away the layer of dust which is not "insignificant; it’s the record of the world in which we live in, so to save it is important.” The artist has apparently chosen the House of Parliament because of its almost 1000 year history and the fact that for centuries it has been a seat of global political power. Despite its location the artist is keen to stress that his work is not a political statement but in fact a reminder of the artistic importance of conservation.
The Ethics of Dust will be on exhibit from the 29th June to the 1st of September 2016. Admission is free and advanced tickets can be found at artangel.org.uk/ethics-of-dust