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Antony Gormley - Subject - Kettles Yard - Cambridge - 22 May - 27th August 2018

The first thing you see upon entering the gallery space is a bronze cast of Gormley's body hanging horizontally, perpendicular to the floor. Then you notice suspended wire lines. The effect is to conjour with computed space, x,y and z co-ordinates and the relative weightlessness of form. This is in contrast to the heavyness of the sculptures in actual fact.

The gallery is therefore turned into a virtual space in the imagination. What if everything was turned by ninety degrees? How would everything look?

Through in the adjacent gallery space a figure (Gormley) stands upright. Made of crosshatched metal bars - the figure seemed to me to be about transformation in the way you can make an object out of particles so that it disintegrates and reforms somewhere else.

This is Gormley addressing the future of the art object as a 'target of the instinct' rather than an inanimate thing only. The sculptures are residue of the body, his body, turned into something substantial and weighty.

And yet what he seems to be exploring is a weightlessness and ephemerality. He investigates with these scuptures how an object becomes a subject in the mind of the viewer. For him it seems to be activated by the relationship the sculptures have spatially within the gallery itself.

Through, within another space in the gallery, a figure dives from the ceiling encased within a metal framework, which seems to define the spatial relationship as another context, perhaps in water, perhaps in the sky. This implies subjective experience in contrast to the objecthood of the initial sculptural composition.

Space creates a subject. As Gormley says: "The wager from this show is that 'subject' has transferred from object to experience."


Sarah Thompson 29.05.2018