Press Coverage

Press Coverage

The Independent, 2 November 1993
Hackney Gazette, 29 October 1993:
“Artful lodger Rachel Whiteread is set to take the world of sculpture by storm – the canvas for her latest creation-in-concrete is a three-storey terraced house near Victoria Park…” (Julie Coulson)

Art and Architecture, Autumn 1993:

“A remarkable monument, it triggers a fascinating variety of responses from viewers and passers by. A cast of the commonplace, it reverses the spatial relationships we are used to, but as soon as one has filed it under ‘abstract form’ out come all the evocative details calling for a naturalistic viewing mode and then the endless ripples of association of ‘home’ and of ‘house’ and of ‘housing policy’ and of ‘lives’.”

Building Design, 29 October 1993:
“The house was carefully coated in a de-bonding membrane and then splatter-gunned, room by room, with two layers of concrete – fine white Locrete (used on the white cliffs of Dover) and then 10cm of mesh-reinforced concrete, with special reinforcing bolts at the corners. The external interior was gradually sealed up, the last person leaving through the roof.” (Kester Rattenbury)

Financial Times, 6 November 1993:
“Standing revealed before us, our homes, secured at such cost, are proved to be poor crooked things, their mean interiors measuring out our days. That hopes and dreams and indeed art itself should emerge from these haphazard shelters is testimony to the human spirit, a worthy subject for a remarkable monument.” (Lynn MacRitchie)

The Sunday Times, 8 November 1993:
“I do not recall seeing a more ambitious piece of public sculpture in London than Rachel Whiteread’s House. Situated in what is now a park in Bow, House is a plaster cast of the inside of the last terraced house in the street. This is a monument to the house that refused to become a park. As such, it is a monument to a certain kind of East End stubbornness that withstood wars, bombs, hunger, riots and assorted ethnic invasions but not the building boom of the 1980s.”

New Statesman, 12 November 1993:
“Her work is about death, about attempting to define and encapsulate the past – as in her ‘room’ in the Tate, and the house in the East End, which stands monumental and poignant like a great white mausoleum for the collective memory of a dying way of life.” (Sue Hubbard)

The Independent, 16 November 1993:
“Sir: It is to be hoped that Bow Neighbourhood Council is beginning to realise, from the enormous amount of interest that has been generated by Rachel Whiteread’s sculpture “House”, what an extraordinary piece of good luck has befallen it… Without commission, without cost and without a team of town planners, one of the most significant public sculptures of recent years has simply emerged in the council’s brand new park. It is a once-in-a-lifetime gift that a thousand towns and cities across Europe would seize readily.” (Tim Neilson – to the letters page)

The Independent, 17 November 1993:
“Sir: We will be brave, Mr Neilson (letter, 16 November), we will be brave! We will be brave enough to ignore the fusillade of froth from the arts lobby and remove the monstrosity as soon as the contract allows… As far as I am concerned, any of the “thousands of towns and cities across Europe” that Mr Neilson feels would love to have House are welcome to it.” (Eric Flounders, Chair of Bow Parks Board – to the letters page)

Birmingham Evening Mail, 24 November 1993:
“Sculptress Rachel Whiteread, winner of the £20,000 Turner Prize for modern art, was today planning to give away double that – for being voted “worst artist of the year” in a bizarre rival award.”Pop group KLF upstaged last night’s presentation at London’s Tate Gallery by announcing their award on the Tate steps.”
The Guardian, 25 November 1993:
“In the East End of London, Rachel Whiteread’s architectural sculpture, House, has been voted into destruction. House is a modern masterpiece. In it an ingenious idea is realised with great evocative power. Taking a derelict dwelling, Whiteread has turned it inside out by casting the interior in liquid concrete then removing the bricks. What is left is a monument to past domesticity, a coarse yet intricate edifice, alone in the space it once occupied with a hundred similar residences. It satisfies contemplative as well as aesthetic taste. Once seen, it makes you look at all houses in a new way.
“On Tuesday night the Bow standing neighbourhood committee voted to pull House down. Six politicians, all Liberal Democrats, took the decision on the casting vote of the chairman, Cllr Eric Flounders… Cllr Flounders, a man apparently not without the outwards signs of education, called it “excrescent”, and “a monstrosity”, from the moment it was unveiled last month. He was determined to expunge it from Tower Hamlets at the earliest moment.” (Hugo Young)

The Times, 27 November 1993:
“It would be disingenuous to claim that House excites universal acclaim – locally or nationally. Clearly it attracts hostility and indifference as well as support. But it is more disingenuous to claim that there is no local interest. Local builders have called the sculpture ‘amazing’, people living across the road have said it is ‘impressive’ and ‘wonderful”; a local resident said on Thursday that ‘it should stay for future generations to remember what it was like here’. Rachel Whiteread was approached by two locals who had lived in the now demolished terrace for 40 years and thanked for ‘making their memories real’.

“The success of this sculpture has been to fracture the normal stereotypes of opposition and support. It is simply not a case of ‘them’ against ‘us’, local against national. The hunger to erase House so quickly masks an insecurity about the potential for art to communicate in ways which are unheralded and unpredictable.” (James Lingwood)

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