Wednesday, June 9, 2010

body and place

Walking on Broadway in Manhattan, I met Antony Gormley ...a sculpture, cast of the nude body of the artist, located accross the Flatiron Building.

The Madison Square area is the scene of an installation titled Event Horizon . Thirty one sculptures are perched on top of buildings, or just stand on the ground like this one.

The sculpture feels out of place expressionless, humanoid from another planet, with a stiff pose, frozen in space and the crowd keeps flowing by, unaware of this intruder.

It is almost a game...finding the sculptures. I see one, a small silhouette far away. I am looking at the sky, clouds, light and back to the street . The crowd appears different now, part of a bigger space. This scene in Manhattan is like a theater. I realize, the universe, the sky, the skyline, the buildings, the square, my space, myself are all intricate, we are all part of the same world at this instant. Of course, this awareness occurs only if the viewer is "playing the game', let him/herself be a participant. The intention of the artist is reached, to reawaken the bodily sense of self.
This installation is not intrusive. It can be ignored, and a large number of passersby are doing just that.

Am I looking better at the skyline of this area of Manhattan?...probably, I am discovering new angles, unreachable places.
The artist himself describes the goal of the installation: "The level of invisibility and the idea of the gaze, is the principle of the work; the idea of looking and finding, or looking and seeking, and in the process perhaps re-assessing your own position in the world."

This month, a major installation from Antony Gormley can be viewed at the White Cube Gallery also Critical Mass is displayed in Sussex and the artist is looking into exhibiting in Asia.

top photograph from the author

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