projects | london | 2002/03

making mice and rats artists & artlab II

Queen Mary College, Turner Building
Whitechapel Campus, London 2002

artlab II and making mice and rats artists (in collaboration with the artist Alex Hamilton) was the attempt to rededicate the empty microbiological research laboratory (Turner Building) of the Queen Mary University in London to an experimental art laboratory.

In making mice and rats artists, in collaboration with the artist Alex Hamilton, mice and rats were to be held in an architectural ensemble consisting of the remaining laboratory furnishings and prepared canvases / picture carriers in such a way that they corrode the pictures and thus turn them into works of art or become the authors / artists. In Great Britain there is widespread resistance to any form of animal testing. This is what the work has aimed at, among other things. The project could not be realized, because the university management wanted to hide the fact of the animal experiments in their sovereign area rather.

In the context of artlab II, exhibitions, performances or lectures by invited artists, scientists and architects were also to take place in the Turner Building. The starting point for the planning was the specific location – on the one hand the Whitechapel area with up to 60% immigrants, mainly from Asia, on the other hand the virus research of the medical institute (e.g. HIV, anthrax…).

Rahere’s free guesthouse and workshop

Interdisciplinary workshop on fallow land
of the Queen Mary College Medical School.
Charterhouse Square, London 2002/03
with students of
Architecture Association and the Royal College of Art

This project was planned on one of the last brownfields in the centre of London, dating from the 2nd World War. In collaboration with Jo Stockham, lecturer at the Royal College of Art, an interdisciplinary workshop with students from three disciplines, architects, artists and doctors, was planned. Under my guidance, a temporary classroom and a Helter-Skelter tower were to be built. The starting material was to be a large mountain of discarded furniture from the university. The curriculum should include lecturers from different disciplines and overlapping topics (medicine, art, and architecture). For months there was the prospect of a permit from the university, but unfortunately this was not granted in the decisive phase for reasons that were not explained.