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The immersed figure in an endless ground
Antony Gormley

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.”

Antony Gormley

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.”

Antony Gormley

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.

Vapour City
  • Martin O'London
  • June 30, 2007 at 8:22:00 AM CDT
  • The pictures always show people groping they're way around the wall, truth is, that's the only way some people feel safe in it.
    Your hand disappears as you move it away from you, you can't see anything except mist, other people suddenly loom out of the fog at you and then disappear, and floaters appear in your eyes - probably because you're desperately defocussed.
    It's the most fun I've had in an exhibit for a long time.
    It's also very wet.

  • adam
  • June 30, 2007 at 10:33:00 AM CDT
  • It reminds me of a Danish radioshow where the host was gonna do an interview - blindfolded and wearing earphones with loud music playing.

    To prepare he called a fireman to ask him how they handle the situation when they are immersed in thick smoke and loud noise inside a burning building.

    The answer was perhaps not so comforting - when it comes to it, all they can do is feel with their earlobes where the heat is coming from. Then at least they know which direction not to move.

  • Mel Phistopheles
  • July 2, 2007 at 1:48:00 PM CDT
  • I thought it was the editorial offices at High Times magazine.

  • Anonymous
  • July 9, 2007 at 3:38:00 AM CDT
  • My experience inside Blind Light was quite weird. I think it was in part because i didn't exactly know what to expect, so i very excitedly submerged into the white emptiness, only to realise it was very unsettling. I don't consider myself to be claustrophobic, but i almost immediatly felt like i had to get out of there. The vapour makes it feel very dense and damp inside and i found myself trying hard just to breathe in and out. Anyway, don't want to seem too negative :-) Even though it was a little bit uncomfortable for me, i think it explores space in a very interesting way. You feel like the white light is endless even though it is really very confined.

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