Six of the Best: Edwin Heathcote 01.03.12

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Edwin Heathcote is an architect, journalist, author and contributing editor to Icon. He has been the architecture critic of the Financial Times since 1999.

The Clock, christian marclay, White Cube gallery, London (top image)
Possibly the most engaging, most mesmeric artwork of recent years, this one hooks you in and keeps you there. The conceit, an unfolding in real time of film scenes featuring clocks or other references to time, is magically simple, a moving collage of phenomenal density. The hook is in the recognition, in the remembering of thousands of movie moments. I find myself walking past film-based installations – who's got the time? But I just couldn't leave this one.

Frieze Art Fair tents, London, Carmody Groarke
Despite being in a huge tent there's always been something a little claustrophobic about the Frieze Art Fair in Regent's Park. Carmody Groarke's ingenious plywood and plastic courtyards created little oases of fresh air 
and green in the midst of the endless art.


credit Christian Richters

Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990, V&A museum, London
A show full of mostly horrible stuff that I hated then and hate just as much now, but the architectural drawings were a delight. Drawings were used as fantasies, caprices which outlined a radical agenda and illustrated a severe schizophrenia, an idea of a collapsing world in which the modern is presented as ready-ruined.


credit Haim Steinbach

Bush Theatre, London, Haworth Tompkins
A barely converted Edwardian library turned into a theatre that manages to be simultaneously industrially tough and intimately cosy. Architect Haworth Tompkins has made a habit of improvising robust and atmospheric theatre spaces and this shoestring job for a former pub theatre is one of its best.


credit Philip Vile

Occupy protests, New York and London
The protests in New York and London have illustrated the strange nature of contemporary public/private space: Zuccotti Square is a developer's payback and the ground outside London's Stock Exchange turns out to be privately owned. The protesters though should take a look at the revolutionary art on show at the Royal Academy to see how real anti-capitalist propaganda is done. The cardboard placards look distinctly wet. They need some proper agitprop.


credit Simon Jenkins

Mine Kafon (Mine Sweeper), Massoud Hassani
Hassani's degree show at the Design Academy Eindhoven was based around a curiously beautiful ball. Based on a toy he had in his childhood in Kabul, the bamboo stick ball is blown about in the wind like a cluster of dandelion seeds. A GPS monitor embedded in it tracks its motion as it rolls around in minefields, showing safe routes. When it encounters a mine, it triggers it. Cheap, ingenious, beautiful and an extraordinarily poignant life-saving device.


credit Massoud Hassani



Christian Marclay/Hayward Gallery



Edwin Heathcote

quotes story

Carmody Groarke's ingenious plywood and plastic courtyards at Frieze Art Fair created little oases of fresh air 
and green in the midst of the endless art

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