Rio de Janeiro has welcomed ‘Still Being’, the latest Antony Gormley exhibition which includes four major installations alongside a number of other works and models. “Event Horizon”, most recently seen in New York City in 2010 and comprising 31 life-size body forms of the artist cast in iron and fibreglass will be installed across the Anhangabaú Valley, the central area of São Paulo. Positioned on the rooftops of buildings and in squares and sidewalks, the artist wishes to engage the viewer in a visual assessment of the inner city.
This exhibition demonstrates the breadth of the artist’s practice, including works such as ‘Loss’, a human figure constructed of hovering blocks of stainless steel; ‘Mother’s Pride’, in which the artist has eaten out his own body shape from slices of industrially-produced bread that are fixed to the wall; and ‘Breathing Room’ an immersive environment of luminous space frames.
“Corpos Presentes – Still Being” opens in São Paulo on 12 May in the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil building and afterwards travels to Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. The exhibition is sponsored by Banco do Brasil, with additional support from the Ministry of Culture, the British Council and White Cube.
‘I question the notion that retinal response is the only channel of communication in art, and the notion that objects are discrete entities. I want the work to activate the space around it and engender a psycho-physical response, allowing those in its field of influence to be more aware of their bodies and surroundings’ says Gormley.
Brazil has served as inspiration and raw material for the artist’s development. Twenty years ago Gormley created ‘Amazonian Field’. With the help of over one hundred residents of Porto Velho, Rondônia, he created more than 24,000 terracotta figures: hand-made surrogate body forms which completely occupy a given architectural space. The ‘Field’ project has been made across four continents: Australia Mexico and the USA, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Central Europe and China and Japan.
The rotunda of the CCBB will contain one of the artist’s most celebrated works, ‘Critical Mass II’: sixty, 630kg cast iron body forms suspended and fallen. Each of the twelve positions conveys a very different evocation of a mental state; sometimes playful, sometimes conflicted, depending on their position in space.
The exhibition tours to CCBB as follows:
Rio de Janeiro: 8 August – 30 September 2012
Brasília: 20 October 2012 – 6 January 2013