Darrell Viner


Pebble-dash outside, bare roughcast and whitewash within, the 1886 mission church that houses Darrell Viner’s site-specific installation Eight Times Three, 2000, combines the spare elegance of an early Christian basilica with the utilitarian grottiness of a public lavatory. Viner’s catalogue statement wryly labels it a “bunker”: group headquarters for crack teams of Victorian evangelists hell-bent on saving the heathen souls of Bermondsey. A pioneering example of reinforced concrete construction, the mission sits on a giant raft of concrete, an abandoned ark implausibly floating on a sea of soft London mud.

Eight Times Three both intensifies and subverts the unforgiving character of this peculiar building, a temporary home for the Cafe Gallery while its usual premises undergo Lottery-funded improvements. Thirty-six eleven-and-a-half-foot steel bars lean against the nave’s walls. Their lower

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2000 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.