Antony Gormley

CRITICAL MASS, 1995

I was trying in this work to isolate basic body positions and then to test them by lying them at rest in different orientations - giving them contradictory and sometimes absurd connotations.

CRITICAL MASS is made up of 5 casts of 12 positions: ground-hugging, crouching, foetal, squatting, sitting, kneeling, standing, mourning and a final instability - an ascent of man ranging through the complex syntax of the body.

The bodyforms were cast from the outside of a plaster mould and all the imperfections of the mould surface are reproduced on the finished work, as are the signs of the loose pieces in the sand mould, the flash lines that exist between them, and the out-runners of the metal-pouring which are integrated into the surface, declaring their industrial birth.

CRITICAL MASS was made in direct response to a specific building, the Remise, an old tram storage station in Vienna. It is nearly 200 m long and 30 m wide, with 5 tram tracks embedded in the floor. I cut 14 pits into the floor between the tracks. This was also a way of activating the whole building and destabilising the architectural context.

The work is an anti-monument evoking the victims of the twentieth century. It also communicates the useless status of sculpture itself. In the original installation, only 11 of the bodyforms were displayed oriented in the way that they were cast (i.e. the body in a realistic body position); all the rest were tumbled, literally dumped from the back of a truck.

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CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, StadtRaum, Remise, Vienna, Austria
Photograph by Stephen White, London

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, StadtRaum, Remise, Vienna, Austria
Photograph by Stephen White, London

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, StadtRaum, Remise, Vienna, Austria
Photograph by Stephen White, London

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, StadtRaum, Remise, Vienna, Austria
Photograph by Stephen White, London

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, StadtRaum, Remise, Vienna, Austria
Photograph by Stephen White, London

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1998
Photograph by Stephen White, London

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1998
Photograph by Stephen White, London

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1998
Photograph by Stephen White, London

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Tate St Ives, England, 2001
Photograph by Bob Bory

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Tate St Ives, England, 2001
Photograph by Bob Bory

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria, 2003

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria, 2003

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria, 2003

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina Napoli (MADRE), Naples, Italy, 2006

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina Napoli (MADRE), Naples, Italy, 2006

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina Napoli (MADRE), Naples, Italy, 2006

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2008
Photograph by Bob Goedewaagan, Rotterdam

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2008
Photograph by Bob Goedewaagan, Rotterdam

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2008
Photograph by Bob Goedewaagan, Rotterdam

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, 2009
Photograph by Markus Tretter

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, 2009
Photograph by Markus Tretter

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, 2009
Photograph by Markus Tretter

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, 2009
Photograph by Markus Tretter

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation view, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, 2009
Photograph by Markus Tretter

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, 2010
Photograph by Nigel Green

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, 2010
Photograph by Nigel Green

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, 2010
Photograph by Nigel Green

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, 2010
Photograph by Nigel Green

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, 2010
Photograph by Nigel Green

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, England, 2010
Photograph by Nigel Green

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Rio di Janeiro, Brazil, 2012
Photograph by Vicente de Mello

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Rio di Janeiro, Brazil, 2012
Photograph by Vicente de Mello

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Rio di Janeiro, Brazil, 2012
Photograph by Vicente de Mello

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Sau Paulo, Brazil, 2012
Photograph by Edouard Fraipont

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Sau Paulo, Brazil, 2012
Photograph by Edouard Fraipont

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Sau Paulo, Brazil, 2012
Photograph by Edouard Fraipont

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Sau Paulo, Brasilia, 2012
Photograph by Joana Franca

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Sau Paulo, Brasilia, 2012
Photograph by Joana Franca

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron
60 life-size elements; variable sizes
CCBB, Sau Paulo, Brasilia, 2012
Photograph by Joana Franca

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation HUMAN, Forte di Belvedere, Florence, Italy, 2015
Photograph by Pietro Savorelli

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation HUMAN, Forte di Belvedere, Florence, Italy, 2015
Photograph by Emiliano Cribari

CRITICAL MASS II

CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Cast iron, 60 life-size elements; variable sizes
Installation HUMAN, Forte di Belvedere, Florence, Italy, 2015
Photograph by Ela Bialkowska, OKNO STUDIO

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Casting
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Casting
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Casting
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Moulding
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Casting process for CRITICAL MASS II

CASTING PROCESS FOR CRITICAL MASS II, 1995
Casting
Photograph by Elfi Tripamer

Remise, Vienna, 1995Remise, Vienna, 1995 Royal Academy, London, 1998Royal Academy, London, 1998 MADRE, Naples, 2006MADRE, Naples, 2006 De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-sea, 2010De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-sea, 2010 EssayEssay