Turning The Place Over Takes a Winter Break

From Liverpool Biennial, 15 December 2009

Seasonal break for Liverpool icon Turning the Place Over after topping 1 million revolutions

Richard Wilson’s Turning the Place Over will be switched off over the Christmas period for maintenance and a well-earned break.

Since its launch it has turned more than a million times, a perfect milestone to give it a thorough inspection.

Liverpool Biennial hopes to restart Turning the Place Over in March 2010 – funding permitting.

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial for the city’s reign as European Capital of Culture, Richard Wilson’s extraordinary temporary intervention has been turning since June 2007 and was originally expected to last until the end of 2008. It celebrated its 2nd birthday in June this year.

Turning the Place Over consists of an 8 metres diameter ovoid cut from the façade of a building in Liverpool city centre and made to oscillate in three dimensions. The revolving façade rests on a specially designed giant rotator, developed for the shipping and nuclear industries, and acts as a huge opening and closing window, offering recurrent glimpses of the interior during its constant cycle during daylight hours.

The construction programme started in February 2007 and involved the careful partial deconstruction of the façade across three floors of the building, which was then reconstructed and fixed to the enormous pivot installed at the heart of the building. This astonishing feat of engineering is touching audiences on many levels. Disturbing and disorientating from a distance, from close-up passers-by have a thrilling experience as the building rotates above them.

Visitors have continued to take a unique tour inside the building to view the powerful inner workings of the installation. Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and co-funded by the Liverpool Culture Company, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and The Northern Way, and facilitated by Liverpool Vision, the project was conceived as a stunning trailblazer for Liverpool’s Year as European Capital of Culture 2008 and the jewel in the crown of the Culture Company’s public art programme.