Today’s Sunday Telegraph Seven magazine had an interview with Antony Gormley. He currently has a new exhibition/installation called Model at the White Cube gallery in Bermondsey. I can’t find an electrical version of the interview but I did find a Telegraph review of Model.
Here is an extract from the interview:
“[Model] is a reclining body composed of cubes and is so big – 100 tons of sheet steel, 105 ft long and 18 ft high – people can walk through it. You enter through the foot and journey through its interconnected internal chambers. It is, in other words, both a sculpture and a building…
“He says he doesn’t know how people are going to interact with Model until they start using it, and that is a consistent feature of his work. He didn’t mind the appearance of bikinis and hard hats on his life-size figures [Another Place] on Crosby Beach…
“… and he loved it when Newcastle United fans fitted out the Angel of the North with an Alan Shearer shirt. ‘People had interpreted it in their own way, and taken ownership of it. That was a baptism, in the manner of the tribes of the North- they were unified in their love of football but pretty uncertain about a namby-pamby thing like art. So it was an important moment.’
“What was the initial reaction to it? Did the good folk of Gateshead, er, reserve judgement? ‘When they heard that there was going to be a 200-ton, 65 ft-high rusting angel on their hill, they weren’t very thrilled about it. But once it was there, they got very enthusiastic, from the moment it arrived, actually.’
“Does he enjoy watching people’s reaction as they first encounter his ‘public art’? ‘Yeah, and I’ve now asked for catalogues not to simply show the isolated object in beautiful whiteness, but instead show how people interact with the work.’
“He shows me a picture of one, Horizon Field Hamburg, a large platform suspended 24 ft above the ground. ‘So this is just a plane, 50m by 25m, but it invites action. In the end, this becomes a catalogue of how people chose to interact with the strange, uncanny feeling of being in the air. This was an instrument for people to propriocept.’ Blimey. Propriocept. No, I didn’t know either. It means observe themselves perceiving their own bodies. It’s obvious from these photographs that the spectators are having fun rather than being earnest and contemplative, which is how people often think they have to behave in galleries.”