Antony Gormley


First published as an artist's statement in Still Moving: Works 1975 - 1996 (cat.), Japan Association of Art Museums, Toyko, 1996. Revised 2000.

Everything erasable; rewind, fast-forward, delete, record, re-record, forget...

Our appearance belongs to others, we live in the darkness of the body - part of all darkness but felt. The skin, on which light falls and which it renders visible, is useless for definition - but perhaps all definition is provisional; a necessary charting in our journey through uncertainty.

How can we make the interior felt and cheat the illusion of appearance? The work started as a kind of testing of objects, sometimes insulating them, sometimes cutting them, but in either case trying to allow the time in them to become visible. Sculpture is a direct way of allowing mind to dwell in matter. It is a means of becoming aware of the connections between matter, space and time in a way that complements (but is completely different from) the connections that science has demonstrated. I firmly believe that we are part of a chain of being and that sculpture is a way of providing instruments in which our place within it can be tested, made manifest and perhaps transformed.

Where does the world begin? Of course we can make it moment by moment and most intimately in what we call the self - but world and self cannot be separated - they are continuous. Where consciousness ends and the world begins is not so easy to define. We are, after all, borrowing our bodies from the earth and is it not likely that the earth knows more of us than we of it? Nothing is ever lost. They say that we could hear the words of Buddha in the deer park at Sarnath if only we had instruments sensitive enough, since the vibrations of sound waves continue to reverberate. Chaos theory has perhaps helped us to realize again the connectedness of things. My proposition is that we are part of a world constructed from the earth, in which everything is interchangeable. My hope is that the old formula of a 'subject who looks' at an object which is 'looked at' can be transmuted into us looking at ourselves. The place of my body is offered as yours and the space and actions of your body are reflected in the works, what they are made of and how they are made. Nothing is revealed that is not already there - including you.