British artist Alex Chinneck has a knack for creating surreal, reality-bending inversions of urban architecture, like a seemingly slouchy brick facade and an upside-down building. He’s at it again for London’s annual Merge Festival, where he has created a life-sized building made entirely of wax.
Called “A Pound of flesh for 50p,” the two-story structure, which at first glance looks like any other quaint brick home, is designed to melt over the course of 30 days. By mid-November, it will be nothing but a roof sitting in a big pile of wax.
Chinneck worked with chemists, wax manufacturers, and engineers for an entire year to get the sculpture just right, creating 8,000 authentic-looking wax bricks. The house will be partially melted manually, in order to control the shape the house takes as it slowly loses its structural integrity. At this point, the brick house, complete with double-hung windows and a green door, has begun to sink into itself. Its windows are buckling and warping, rivulets of brick-red wax dripping down the facade like some kind of demonic moss.
The Merge Festival, curated by contemporary arts association Illuminate Productions, is all about celebrating London’s Bankside district. Chinneck’s project is a nod to a candle-making factory that stood in the neighborhood hundreds of years ago.
[h/t It’s Nice That]