Richard Wilson‘s architectural installation 20:50 has been on show at the Saatchi Gallery since 1991, and is the gallery’s only permanent work. You can visit it each day in the basement of the gallery’s Sloane Square venue, in west London, although the pathway to walk through it is closed off.
Wilson says of the piece (in a Guardian article): “The idea of a Tardis-like space, where the internal volume is greater than its physical boundaries, had always appealed to me. That was how the idea for 20:50 came about. I’ve always been concerned with the ways you can change architectural space – whether it be a room or a whole building – to alter your perception, to knock your view of the world off-kilter.”
The room has a meditative effect, with visitors lingering to absorb the atmosphere and stare into the mass. It’s difficult to take in that what you are staring at is a bath of oil, because it is completely reflective, a mirror surface; but occasionally, you will notice a speck of dust floating on the surface of the liquid.
The Saatchi Gallery describes it as “a contemporary masterpiece”. For those seeking out new examples of experience design – here’s one of the originals.