This piece consists of a translucent, bluish mould, made of resin, of the wooden floor of a corridor in a Victorian house. Specifically, it is a cast of the space beneath the floor, which the spectator recognises from the marks left by the nine wooden floorboards that made up the surface. As in all her works, Whiteread has turned the negative space—that marginal space we can never see—into a presence, a defined object. The resin enables her to create a universe of transparencies, which reveals the strata of the internal and external structure of the pieces through the refracting effect of the light absorbed by the material. She showed the resin corridor at the 1997 Venice Biennale with the clear intention of evoking a relationship to water. “There’s an amazing kind of milky white light in Venice. I particularly wanted to show the resin corridor piece in the back gallery, as it is bathed in white light reflected from the canal outside. The piece bears a direct relationship to water.” Moreover, she acknowledges the importance of the piece in relation to the size of the rooms where it is on display, pointing out how that relationship turns it into a kind of furniture piece. Whiteread’s austere aesthetics have often been associated with Minimalism. Indeed, on a number of occasions she has acknowledged her fascination with Minimalist sculpture while she was studying. However, in spite of that possible influence, her works are too metaphorical to be considered Minimalist. Her sculptures are still realistic, as they represent a genuine existing space. With her works, she evokes a lived memory and, in the end, a kind of nostalgia. Her works are fundamentally an attempt to describe an absence, to make it visible in physical form, to make the space of a void palpable and turn it into a permanent presence; in short, to bring the negative space into existence.
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