The Empty Club

Gabriel Orozco

The grand Georgian building at 50 St James’s stands in the centre of London and at the heart of the British Establishment. For almost 150 years it was the home of The Devonshire Club, a domain for English gentlemen.

Refurbished for a new life as a corporate HQ, 50 St James’s lay vacant through the summer of 1996, suspended between an empty past and an unknown future.

Gabriel Orozco animated this sleeping building with a sequence of sculptural transformations. An exquisite Oval Billiard Table was installed, the red ball hovering above the green baize.

Elsewhere visitors encountered The Atomists, an extended series of sporting prints; a dreamscape model of Lord’s cricket ground and an avenue of ‘moon trees’.

Guy Brett, Jean Fisher, Mark Haworth-Booth and James Lingwood discuss Orozco’s subtle meditations on movement and stability, centre and periphery, rules and etiquette within its particular British context.

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