The immersed figure in an endless ground
Friday, June 29, 2007
Some photos of Blind Light, one of several installations by Antony Gormley now on view at The Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London till 19 August 2007.
As decribed by The Guardian, it's a 10-meter glass box fitted with “oscillating ultrasonic humidifiers to create a dense vapour reducing the visibility inside.”
Says the artist, “Architecture is supposed to be the location of security and certainty about where you are. It is supposed to protect you from the weather, from darkness, from uncertainty. Blind Light undermines all of that. You enter this interior space that is the equivalent of being on top of a mountain or at the bottom of the sea. It is very important for me that inside it you find the outside.”
Obviously we won't be able to physically experience Gromley's foggy exterior-interior, so at best we can only remark here how it reminds us not only of Philip Johnson's recently opened Glass House, arguably one of the finest examples of landscapes wherein the interior and exterior spaces are collapsed together quite harmoniously, and, curiously enough, of certain 18th century French salles à manger decorated to resemble the outdoors, such as a forest glade, whereby the vault over the room appears to be formed by arcing tree limbs and the floor a grassy lawn (e.g., the upper-left rump room in Ribart's elephant-house-fountain), but also of the borderless, architecture-less void prison in George Lucas' THX 1138 to where the eponynous rebel gets imprisoned and tortured, becoming, to use Gromley's words, “the immersed figure in an endless ground, literally the subject of the work” of a different, decidedly sinister kind.