100 life sized statues in Austrian Alps
7th June 2010
The figures by the British artist, Antony Gormley, are dotted round the Austrian Alps this summer as part of an art exhibition. They have caused quite a stir.
It has followed 4 years of planning and debate as some people welcomed them and others think they are an eye-sore.
They are being placed in the Vorarlberg region of The Alps over an area of 150 sq kms.
Some will be just 60m apart and others several kms. Many will be inaccessible and only visible from a distance.
The exhibition is called “Horizon Field” and the statues will be placed on ledges and peaks where man might once have walked, say organisers.
British-born, Antony Gormley, is perhaps best known in the UK for The Angel of the North.
He had a similar exhibition with life sized human statues in London and New York and some people thought they were real people about to jump off and commit suicide.
Many people placed 911 calls to the emergency services.
In the Austrian Alps the rescue services have been alerted as to where they all are in case of similar emergency calls.
The exhibition is being staged by the Kunsthaus Bregenz museum and it has been quite a logistical exercise to get the iron and fibre glass statues in place.
Many weigh up to 640 kilos and have to be flown in by helicopter.
It is planned to leave them in situ until April 2012 so they will be visble in the winter months too.
“Horizon Field asks: Where does the human project fit within the evolution of life on this planet?
The works form a field in which living bodies and active minds are involved in measuring the space and distance through the field of these static iron bodies, and of course both skiers and hikers will be part of this.
This installation recognises the deep connection between social and geological territory; between landscape and memory,” according to Antony Gormley.
“In presenting these obdurate, earth-bound but earth-witnessing markers in space and time, the installation puts 100 industrially produced artifacts within an elemental world which is far from the contextualising influences of the museum.
It asks basic questions: who are we, what are we, where do we come from and to where are we headed?
This sculptural ensemble recognizes the need for collective futures built on the models of small-scale sustainable communities such as those of the Walsers in the high Alps. The need for the radical revisioning of cultural expression within a new understanding of a homeostatic biosphere is at the heart of this project.
I would confidently propose that it is important not just for the region, for Austria but for all sentient beings travelling on this planet.”
If you see them we would be delighted to hear you reaction to the exhibition and the views of others you may speak to. Some photos would be fantastic too.
Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org