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BBC Broadcasting House Untitled (Room 101)

Whiteread 7
Whiteread 8
Whiteread 1
Whiteread 2

As part of the BBC Public Art Programme, Rachel Whiteread was invited to create a response to Room 101 of BBC Broadcasting House, shortly before that part of the building was demolished.  

 

The writer George Orwell worked at the BBC during the Second World War, and Room 101 was purportedly the inspiration for the nightmarishly envisioned torture chamber of his dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.  In reality, the BBC’s Room 101 had been long-disused as an office and latterly served the purpose of housing ventilation ducts.

 

Whiteread and her team stripped Room 101 of its pipe-work, then cast the entire void of the room, including all the scarred surfaces of the walls, floor and ceiling.

 

The sculpture was subsequently exhibited at the V&A Museum’s Cast Courts, where, curated by Whiteread herself, it was surrounded by other historic casts, including Michelangelo’s David.

 

The work was acquired by the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2009.

The work was exhibited in Rachel Whiteread's solo exhibition at Tate Britain, 12 September 2017 to 21 January 2018. 

 

 

Untitled (Room 101) is part of the BBC Broadcasting House Public Art Programme, curated by Modus Operandi.

Artist

Rachel Whiteread

Title of work

Untitled (Room 101)

Client

BBC

Location

London

Year

2003

Image credit

 courtesy of the V&A


Published article