You’ve probably walked past it 100 times. Maybe even wondered what was behind it. Now, the longstanding nondescript hoarding on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Grafton way is about to become the gateway to Artangel’s latest site-specific installation, ‘Dig’. Young sculptor Daniel Silver has taken over the abandoned site, which used to be home to one of London’s largest Odeon Cinemas, and transformed the overgrown wasteland and building shell into an archaeological dig (hence the name).
Head down the muddy slope and you’ll find a floor full of clusters of figures (photo below) and broken fragments made of marble, plaster and terracotta, all laid out on tables as if you’ve just walked into an archeological site while everyone was just out on their lunch break. Go down the stairs to the level below and you’ll feel like you’ve just discovered a sacred temple full of symbolic sculptures (photo above).
‘What were they doing here? What are they doing here? What belief system might they embody or watch over? Are they sculptures of gods or men?’ These are a few of the questions that the work hopes to get you thinking about – but Silver offers no answers, so you have to make up your own interpretation. Whatever you decide, you’ll feel a million miles away from the traffic on Tottenham Court Road and like you’ve just been let in on an ancient secret.
Daniel Silvers’ ‘Dig’ is open to the public from today until November 3. Free.