"Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it"

I never got to Tate Modern while it was possible to walk around "Embankment", the Rachel Whiteread installation of plastic boxes, but I managed to visit in time for the 'de-installation' (today and on-going, I should say), and I can't believe the event itself was better than watching it being destroyed.

First of all, the giant crane in the Turbine Hall still works! I don't know why I find this surprising but I suppose I imagined that the cost of maintaining and running it would be prohibitive. Do they employ a full-time crane driver? Or is it a job-share with some other rarely-needed skill? (Chimney sweep?)

So a team of men in high-visibility vests and hard hats load boxes into big nets, which are lifted on to the central walkway, where another team loads them onto a conveyor belt which carries them into the back of a truck - the truck is a 'Mobile Plastic Shredder' and the conveyor drops the boxes into a hopper which does exactly what it says on the label. The shreds of white plastic are carried by another conveyor into builders' bulk bags, about five feet high and three square at the base, and I don't know how long they've been at it but there must be thirty already waiting to be shipped and the piece looks to be less than one third 'de-installed'.

There's a time-lapse film of the installation on the Tate web-page, I hope there's someone shooting the de-installation too.

My favourite detail - one of the smaller boxes has been cut open at the top by the demolition team and is being used as a bin. It's nearly full of takeaway coffee cups, and could be a piece in its own right...