The Ethics of Dust: Westminster Hall by Jorge Otero-Pailos

Commissioned by Artangel, The Ethics of Dust was installed in 2016 in the oldest existing building in the Houses of Parliament. Over 50 meters long, this cast of Westminster Hall’s east wall contained hundreds of years of surface pollution and dust held captive in translucent latex.

Jorge Otero-Pailos, The Ethics of Dust Installation.

Suspended from the roof and hung parallel to the east wall, the work was the result of a cleaning process in which latex was sprayed onto the walls of this UNESCO world heritage site, then peeled off, gently lifting dirt from the surface. Backlit and further illuminated by natural light from the hall’s high windows, the amber glow of this sculptural installation commanded a moment of consideration for what John Ruskin once called “that golden stain of time.”

Jorge Otero-Pailos, The Ethics of Dust Installation.


The Ethics of Dust is a series of casts resulting from the cleaning of dust and pollution from monuments around the world. Each cast is a piece of the atmosphere deposited on a particular monument over time. Taken together, the series of casts show us the atmosphere as a cultural and architectural material creating its own new history. To date, Otero-Pailos has intervened on several historically charged sites around the world and his resulting monumental latex casts have been widely exhibited by major museums, foundations and biennials notably, the Artangel Trust, the 53rd Venice Art Biennial, Victoria and Albert Museum, Louis Vuitton Museum La Galerie, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.



Jorge Otero-Pailos (Artist and Preservationist Architect)

Completion Date