JG Ballard’s High-Rise recreated in lego

JG Ballard’s High-Rise is one of my favourite novels. It’s easy to see why sociologists would like it and it seems I’m not the only one this is true of. So I’m not sure what to make of High-Rise recreated in lego… it’s a homage but it feels like it also trivialises it somewhat. These haunting scenes that have stayed with me long after I read the book actually look¬†twee¬†when materialised in lego. This is how the author describes the project:

On August the 28th 2014, after reading an article about the magnificent Brick Jest, the official twitter for the film High-Rise (2015, directed by Ben Wheatley, and starring Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Elizabeth Moss and many more) issued me with a challenge to complete a similar project, based on the Ballard novel.

I was in Covent Garden at the time, on one of my many trips to pillage London, and as I had been to the tavern the night before and imbibed enough alcohol to bring down a small Bilgesnipe, it is entirely possible that I only accepted the challenge because I was still slightly tipsy. I still believe it was an excellent choice, nevertheless.

To adequately tell the story of High-Rise I decided to do one image per page of the book, which would be 166 photos according to my battered paperback copy of the novel.

Due to budget constraints I could only afford to buy enough LEGO bricks to build one set at a time, so to save time and avoid having to rebuild the same set multiple times I began work on a shooting script.


Unless you’ve read the novel this must all be pretty meaningless (and you probably skimmed the first few sentences at most). But for those who did, see what you think:

Brick High-Rise Page 7

Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building in the previous three months.

You can read the lego story in full here. But if you haven’t already, please read the book. It’s fabulous.

Categories: Rethinking The World

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