Idris Khan, 'Fragile', 2009

Idris Khan, Fragile for 7 Howick Place © the artist 2009

7 Howick Place

Artwise commissioned artist Idris Khan to create a permanent public artwork for the entrance of 7 Howick Place upon invitation from the Italian investment group Estate4. Respecting the building's original Victorian character, Khan responded with four individual films collectively known as Fragile, that are played across a set of sunlight readable LCD screens embedded directly into the pavement making this the first ever outdoor art installation of floor-mounted LCD screens in the UK - developed especially for the project. By installing the screens in the ground, Khan encourages the viewer to look down and even walk over them; adding a unique sculptural feeling and a strange potency to what is seen. Fragile celebrates the tradition of postal communication and considers the nature of letter writing and the permanence of the written word, all of which is examined in these films through the depiction of letters and packages being treated and handled in different ways - at times abstractly, at others literally. For this commission, the artist collaborated with a set designer, architect, lighting designer and photographer to convert his studio into a 1950s post sorting office entirely constructed in cardboard, paper and tape to create a surreal environment in which the films were produced. Fragile is the first permanent moving-image public artwork approved by Westminster City Council and is on view daily between 7am and 1am.

Artists/Designers

7 Howick Place images

  • Installation view

    Installation view

  • Installation view

    Installation view

  • Idris Khan, Film still from: Fragile (sorting). Photo © Thierry Bal 2009

    Idris Khan, Film still from: Fragile (sorting). Photo © Thierry Bal 2009

  • Idris Khan, Fragile. Photo © Thierry Bal 2009

    Idris Khan, Fragile. Photo © Thierry Bal 2009

  • Idris Khan, Fragile. Photo © Thierry Bal 2009

    Idris Khan, Fragile. Photo © Thierry Bal 2009

  • Artist Idris Khan. Photo © Oona Culley 2009

    Artist Idris Khan. Photo © Oona Culley 2009