Visitors to St Pancras International now have twice as much time. A black-and-silver replica of the famous DENT clock dangles from the roof, in the same location that previously sported the Olympic rings and that colourful bit of Tetris-style artwork.
The copycat chronometer is the work of Cornelia Parker, and is punningly known as One More Time. It's a functioning timepiece; a horological redundancy; the embodiment, perhaps, of having too much time. It also lends an uneasy feel to this part of the station, conjuring sinister thoughts of evil twins and doppelgangers. In a further uncanny twist, those alighting from Eurostar trains will see the clocks in eclipse.
A different view is provided by the artist: "The clock is the most conscious focus of a railway station, a dominant force. Everyone is watching the clock, checking if they are late. The piece will introduce the idea of a parallel frame of reference, that of a slower astronomical time."
The twin clocks will puzzle, confuse, delight, perturb and provoke all manner of interpretations and views. In other words, it's good art.
HS1 (which owns the station) and the Royal Academy came together to work on the project. It is the latest in a series of commissions now known as the Terrace Wires, which the press release introduces as "the fourth leg of London’s rotational public art spaces, alongside the Fourth Plinth, Serpentine Gallery and the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall".
The work will remain in place until November 2015, when it will be replaced by a multicoloured replica of the giant 'lovers' statue that nobody likes. (Only joking.)
All photos by the author.
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