Building a structure using 52 playing cards is a difficult
and demanding task, requiring steady hands along with
precision patience and perseverance, but it's usually
accomplished on a domestic scale.
The proposal of creating Richard Serra's House of Cards is
based on that principle, but in
order to comprehend the
idea fully some understanding of the work of Richard
Serra is required.
To generalise, Serra places in a stable position large
pieces of rolled plate steel on one of their edges. These
are physically impressive pieces and if you have not been
in their presence, this is a good description of one of
"The contemplative quality of Intervals is discarded in
7 Plates, 6 Angles (2013), the largest sculpture on 24th
Street NYC. The works seven plates are eight feet high,
forty feet long and eight inches thick. They are arrayed
in a zigzag pattern across the gallery floor, their
adjoining edges aligned with extraordinary precision.
The resulting vectors, which alternately compress and
expand the space between the walls, thrust the plates
forward with uncompromising force. You feel not so
much dwarfed as shoved aside."
My idea is to construct a house of cards only using the
same type of steel plates as employed by Serra.
A suitable wind protected location would be the first
step in the endeavour.
Several powerful tower cranes would be required to lift
and position the steel plates and hold them securely
while the next one is balanced in place. As the entire
structure is dependant on zero tolerances, this would
have to be achieved with total precision, and be both
difficult and fraught with danger.
Once fully constructed, coming within the clearly
marked "collapse event radius" would represent an
action of extreme hazard and dire warnings would be
posted. Permanently installed cameras will record the
inevitable eventual falling down of The Richard Serra's
House of Cards.