Alex Chinneck, Telling the Truth Through False Teeth

Take a look at this derelict factory, located in a quiet side street just off Hackney’s Mare Street.

A disused factory on the corner of Mare Street and Tudor Road, Hackney, London E9 7SN

Just another run down building, right? There are certainly plenty of those in this part of the East End, the kind of buildings that are just waiting to be bulldozed to make way for yet another bland block of concrete flats.

But then look again. In fact, this building has been transformed by local artist Alex Chinneck into an installation which he has titled Telling the Truth Through False Teeth. Until recently, this empty factory was being used as a covert cannabis farm. As a result, Chinneck spent weeks clearing it out, removing soil, grow bags and water tanks to prepare it for a transformation. The next step was to remove the 312 panes of glass in the building’s facade and replace them with new ones, each artfully broken in exactly the same way. The result is subtle and curious; the cracked panes catch the light, their austere, grid-like frames softened by a new, delicate rhythm that turns something apparently mundane into something weird and wonderful.

A window detail of Telling the Truth Through False Teeth

Chinneck states that the inspiration for the work emerged from his fascination with the charm of decaying buildings. He also suggests that there is a political aspect to this installation, the decomposition of such buildings mirroring the decline of British industry, but I like this work for its pure beauty. There is no signage outside the factory, so for people who stumble across it there is no sort of explanation, just a very odd looking building. Like Roger Hiorn’s Seizure, this installation is part of a structure which is about to be demolished, although in this case the work will be destroyed along with it.  For me that just adds to the magic of this urban art with a twist.

Telling the Truth Through False Teeth is ephemeral and mysterious, here today and gone tomorrow, or more accurately gone on the 30th November 2012. Catch it while you can.

Looking out of Telling the Truth Through False Teeth

Alex Chinneck’s Telling the Truth Through False Teeth has been created in association with Sumarria Lunn Gallery

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2 Responses to “Alex Chinneck, Telling the Truth Through False Teeth

  1. Amazing how broken glass can achieve something so special. It is all about symetry!

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