The Disposal of 68 Half Moon Lane
The result of a two year collaboration with the Estates Department and The Performance Foundation at Kings College, London, Forster and Heighes created an evocative three room installation in response to the university's abandoned Plant Sciences Department laboratories in Herne Hill. Abandoned now for more than twenty years, 68 Half Moon Lane was a site of great innovation in the teaching of biological sciences and most recently the location of Nobel prize-winning research by the James Black Foundation. Its abandoned laboratories, seminar rooms, lecture theatres, and storerooms still evoke a strong sense of collective endeavour. As a tribute to a remarkable building and an examination of the practice and personalities that inhabited it, Forster and Heighes retold a particular chapter in the history of King's scientific teaching and research through an installation in the mode of an 'auction sale' with accompanying catalogue of lots; bringing the spirit and substance of one of the college's suburban outposts back to the centre of the city and reconnecting it with the contemporary university. PLANT SCIENCE was a meditation on the apparatus of study and learning; an exploration of the performative qualities of the lab bench and workstation as sites of intense scrutiny and discovery and devices for pedagogical exchange and experiment. Glasshouse, green-board, test bench, workstation, fume cupboard, propagation bed, specimen cabinet and fire door - a building distilled to its essential elements, clarified, separated and reconstituted in the neoclassical environment of Somerset House.
PLANT SCIENCE: Catalogue of the remaining contents of the former Plant Science Department Laboratories 68, Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London. Including fine mid and late Twentieth Century scientific and teaching apparatus: laboratory benches, propagation beds and glasshouses, door and window furniture safety apparatus, carpeting, signage, office equipment, garden maintenance equipment, green boards, white boards , light fittings an miscellaneous items. Pre-sale viewing at The Inigo Rooms, Somerset House, London 16th May - 11 July 2013. Admission free.
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