Dig by Daniel Silver

Dig by Daniel Silver


Daniel Silver, Dig, 2013. Courtesy of Artangel. Photo: Marcus Leith. Design: Modern Activity.

September 6, 2013

Daniel Silver 

12 September–3 November 2013 

The Odeon Site
24 Grafton Way (off Tottenham Court Road)
London WC1E 6DB 



An abandoned, overgrown landscape in central London is the site for a new Artangel commission by sculptor Daniel Silver.

Evidence from some kind of archaeological endeavour is lying around; figures and fragments, pieced together. Made in a range of materials including marble, plaster and terracotta, the figures have been worked by hand, modelled and then eroded and deformed. Some seem to have strange, unnatural growths. They appear to be both ancient and modern.  

What were they doing here? What are they doing here? What belief system might they embody or watch over? Are they sculptures of gods or men? Like unearthed objects from an unfamiliar culture, Silver’s sculptures do not give up their secrets easily. 

One starting point for Dig was Silver’s fascination with Freud’s collection of sculptures. Freud kept an ‘audience’ of some of his favourite figurines—Egyptian, Greek, Indian, Asian and African—on his desk in his consulting room, watching over him and his patients as they dug deep within themselves. Freud often referred to archaeology as a metaphor for his own practice of uncovering desires and phobias.   

There appear to be different layers of excavation in Silver’s project: digging into the role of figures of worship, idols and fetishes within different cultures, including our own; and working through the evolution of sculptural forms across time and place, losing old powers and acquiring new meanings as they are fragmented, pieced together and multiplied.  

Built in the early 20th century and originally the site of one of London’s largest Odeon Cinemas, the Grafton Way site has been empty for many years. Dig is Artangel’s most recent site-specific commission with a young British sculptor. Over the past two decades, other commissions have included Susan Philipsz’s Surround Me in 2008 in the City of London; Roger Hiorns’s Seizure, 2008 / 2013, originally in a council bedsit in South London and recently relocated to Yorkshire Sculpture Park; and Rachel Whiteread’s House, completed 20 years ago in October 1993. 

Dig is commissioned and produced by Artangel with the support of The Henry Moore Foundation. With thanks to University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


Artangel presents Dig by Daniel Silver
RSVP for Dig by Daniel Silver
September 6, 2013

Thank you for your RSVP.

Artangel will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.