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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


You know what you should do?

You should stop reading this blog post right now and go to the South Bank website, and book yourself some tickets for the Anthony Gormley exhibition.

If you're still here, let me explain that it's the coolest thing I have seen in I don't even know how long. It's really, really cool.

Gormley is difficult to describe, because being an artist whose medium is visual, and actually does stuff that works on a visual level rather than just being an illustration of the manifesto, words don't really convey the effect being around his installations has on you. It's hard not to end up stating the blindingly obvious: 'Hey look, it's an image of feet but it looks like the inside of a tree as well!' Well, of course it does; that's the first thing that strikes anyone who looks at it. But saying it doesn't express just how deeply it strikes you. You just look, and you see.

There's something incredibly pleasing about his works, as well as intelligent; they're just really really nice to look at. And they make you alert, make you curious and observant. One of my favourites is his massively ambitious 'Event Horizon', which you can see just by being around the South Bank: he's installed thirty-one iron statues in prominent positions all over London, on the tops of high buildings. It makes you open your eyes, look out for new ones; it makes the city suddenly feel magical.

And then there's 'Blind Light'. Basically, it's a small glass room lit from above, pumped so full of cool mist that, when you stretch out your hand, you can't see the tips of your fingers. The visibility is about two feet. It's amazing being inside it; after the disorientation, it's almost mediatational. You start to feel like you've always been there.

Oh, I can't describe it. Just do what I say and go see the exhibition, because it's really, really, really cool.

Dear Kit,

Sounds amazing. Wish I could hop over the pond and go see.

I felt the same way when I saw my first Dale Chihuly exhibit. Something changed in me that day. Truly.
That looks like the kind of exhibit I would walk into and never come out of again.
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