Broken windows are a common sight in the developed world’s decaying industrial districts. Whether caused by disaster, or ne’er-do-wells with rocks, broken glass is a sign that a certain building has lost its utility and is no longer productive. These buildings are neglected, not only physically, but in the public memory, as well. Monuments to economies past, members of their communities walk past the buildings without looking at them, eyes ever focused on the future.
However, British artist Alex Chinneck’s new project, Telling the Truth Through Broken Teeth, is designed to make passersby do a double-take. The artist removed every pane of glass from a defunct industrial building in Hackney, near the site of this year’s London Olympics. He then replaced them with broken panes, each cracked in the exact same way.
The result is a dream-like spectacle, beautiful and somewhat uncanny. Such a subtle change might not be easily noticed, but when it is, the thoughts and emotions elicited are probably accompanied by the sound-effects from Inception. The installation rewards those pedestrians who observe and take part in their surroundings, leaving those who would rather be absorbed in their screens to walk on by.
Images: Alex Chinneck via It’s Nice That