Antony Gormley


From METER, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austri, 2013

Larger than life
Martin Caiger-Smith

Space is the relationship
between the position of bodies
László Moholy-Nagy [1]

March 2013. A working model, of foam board and paper, around one metre across and slightly less deep, sits against the wall in Antony Gormley's London studio. It is the first indication in concrete form of METER, the exhibition of that title in the making: of the ideas it holds, the works it will include and the effect it intends. It shows us a building open to view from above, roughly symmetrical in plan: a series of rooms and a rectilinear, axial placement and orientation of works, indicated by tiny schematic forms, all in white, with titles and dimensions. And it suggests a possible itinerary, with views through from one room to another, potential for encounters: between adjacent works, between single works and their containing spaces, or between works in space and us, the viewers, as we imagine ourselves entering.

The model is at once a scaled version of an existing place - the Villa Kast in Salzburg - and a vision of an idea yet to come fully into being. As the architect Christian Hubert wrote, a model can be the 'first intimation' of architecture as an inhabitable object, a 'sort of test': 'It exists as desire - in a kind of atopia, if not utopia. It holds out the promise of inhabitation, even if it does not wholly afford it […] for the space of the model lies on the border between representation and actuality […] neither wholly inside nor wholly outside, neither pure representation nor transcendent object. It claims a certain autonomous objecthood, yet this condition is always incomplete. The model is always a model of.' [2]

From examining this model, we might begin to understand something of the forthcoming exhibition's proposition - its choreography as it is to unfold in space and time - but we could not take from it any true sense of the experience to be had in the exhibition itself. A model's relation to the real, its bridge between idea and actuality, is principally one of scale. Even if we do not know the Villa Kast we can roughly gauge the scale reduction of this model, and imagine our own diminution as scaled-down inhabitants, by the size of the windows and the door apertures. This is part of the allure of the architectural model, and a property that sculpture (or much sculpture), lacking any immediate reference points, might be said to have lost. As another architect, Peter Eisenmann, observed in a meditation on the architectural model: 'When sculpture ceased to be anthropomorphic, it became scale non-specific. Architecture has traditionally been scale-specific […] where something is no longer scale-specific, it supposedly becomes sculpture.'[3]

Scale, of course, is not the same as size: it is more the appearance of size. Our estimation of scale relies on comparison and context; free of any frame of reference it can easily deceive. And of course the most ready reference, our most immediate yardstick, is the human body. In the exhibition, METER, Gormley stages a set of encounters that ask us to consider the rhythms and relations of measure and of scale - between the works (and these works are anthropomorphic, in essence), the space they occupy and the live bodies (our own) with which they share that space. The artist's particular attention to scale is nothing new: from the outset he has made objects that can be picked up or molded in the hand (and in the hands of others), such as ANGEL OF THE NORTH in Gateshead in 1998, or EXPOSURE in Lelystad in 2010, that can stand as towering presences against the horizon and rival or even exceed the scale of a building. Gormley's recent exhibition 'Model' in London, [4] included, for the first time, working models, many of them small and provisional in feel, some unrealised ideas and others recalling the genealogies of finished works, in various stages of 'coming into being'. The display included small-scale maquettes for MODEL, a colossal work sited in an adjoining gallery space. A recumbent figure composed of interlocking cells/chambers, a body/building set within a building, MODEL invited us to enter (via an aperture in its foot), to negotiate its various parts, a complex set of cavernous voids of varying height, breadth and obscurity, and painstakingly to make sense of the structure of its whole, through a physical journey of discovery as much as through our sense, or memory, of its (our) overall bodily form. The exhibition as a whole rested on this double sense of the model, small or large, both as a scaled version of an actual form - a template for it - and as an indication of a thought process, an imagination of space.

This exhibition, METER, enacts a similar, specific and singular series of propositions. Like all Gormley's exhibitions it engages (even if on a temporary basis) with a situation and a given place; the works challenge or 'infect' the architectural context for which they were made, or in which they are placed. METER's particular setting, in real space, in Salzburg, is within a gallery that inhabits a neo-Classical villa of noble pretension and formal, if delicate, stature that might be seen as overblown domestic in scale or pint-sized palatial. The villa stands on the edge of the Mirabell Gardens, a public arena that announces its own rhetoric in the exuberance of its planting, the choreography of tree-lined walk, terrace and fountain and the flamboyant gestures of its Baroque statuary: figures from Greek myths - Hermes and Paris and Pluto - bounding and grappling bodies atop their chamfered plinths.

Gormley lays down an immediate challenge to these surroundings on the ground outside the Villa and (as we climb the front stairs to enter) at its threshold. We are confronted by two gigantic 'Blockworks': REST IV and WARD. They are figures that tell no story, have no recourse to myth or history, ancient or modern. Each is a solid cast iron form of a dozen or so cubic volumes - black, dense and immensely heavy - an evocation at its most schematic and abstracted of a human form, one lying, one totemic, standing tall - half as tall again as us? Beyond, and to left and right, at the limits of our view, are similarly-scaled figures, also solid and yet spectral, their stacked cuboid blocks of cast white plaster. CATCH II, a plaster figure three metres high, towers over us, the higher blocks projecting out into space so that the tense upper body is canted slightly forwards; another, RETREAT III, lies, hunched, sideways to the floor, its limbs drawn into the body in a complex, condensed massing of blocks.

Between and before them, closer to, are works from a new, distinct and different series of sculptures unlike all the others in form, less immediately recognisable as bodies. The faces of their constituent 'volumes' are of steel panels welded edge-to-edge, and the volumes themselves do not - as they do in the neighbouring sculptures - abut or stack one on another but appear to interpenetrate. PRIZE, WAKE, MANIFOLD: these are all 'Expansion works'. They are hollow containers, of spaces within spaces, hermetically sealed, their insides concealed from view; but the volumes' visible welded edges imply a dense armature of interlocking cuboid parts 'lost' within the forms that again - it becomes clear, with time, and imaginative work - describe and derive from an original body form and posture, standing, lying, crouched. These internal, hidden volumes are restated and rendered visible in the examples nearby from a parallel series, the 'Frame works': figures constructed according to the same principles but made as open armatures of thin square-sectioned stainless steel rod. One 'Frame work', PLACE, describes a standing figure; another, NET, a compact pose, a squatting figure, with knees drawn up to chin and enfolded by arms. At the head of the stairs which lead off the central space stands COURSE, a large figure from the 'Liners' series whose body space is traced by a single continuous line of mild steel, taken for a right-angled 'walk' on three axes. On the floor above, a line of 'Blockworks' extend and sometimes repeat the lexicon of body postures presented in the outsized figures downstairs, but here at half life-size.

'Blockworks', 'Plasters', 'Frame works', 'Expansion works': how are these figures, these different series, to be confronted? What claim do they make on our attention, our feelings - and on our space? There is a formality to their placement which links them firmly to the orthogonal plan of the Villa's two levels - suggestive of a three-dimensional chess game - but with no prescribed route, we as visitors will come upon them variously, approach them frontally or from the side, line up an individual encounter or a confrontation, an exchange. It may be an exchange between 'types', of contrasting form, material and scale, as well as of the process of their making (casting, welding, assemblage). It may be an exchange between the mass of the works and the space around them. (Giacometti referred to the spaces between figures in his sculpture groups as 'fellow actors'.) [5] Or, as we are unlikely to be alone moving through these spaces, it may be an exchange with other visitors, who come into view and re-assert a human scale - a scale to which all the works have a  relation but which (unusually, for Gormley) none of them shares. This co-presence of forms animate and inanimate generates a sense of 'co-awareness' that is a carefully considered part, surely, of the exhibition's effect. Gormley's interest in setting conditions that cast the viewers themselves as part of the environment, to test and to gauge their response and interaction in situations of heightened awareness, precariousness, instability or wonder, has animated many of his projects in recent years. It was to be felt in the fumblings, echoes and stillnesses that punctuated our journeys through the interior of MODEL; in the startling sense of disembodiment and the sudden groping encounters to be had within the white vapour chamber BLIND LIGHT, [6] in the communally-induced tremors that reverberated across the high, dark, reflective stretched platform of HORIZON FIELD HAMBURG,[7] and in the slow fade and sudden, shocking return of light among the space frames of BREATHING ROOM, the environment first presented at Thaddaeus Ropac's gallery in Paris. [8]

'I question the notion that retinal response is the only channel of communication in art, and the notion that bodies are discrete entities. I want the work to activate the space around it and engender a psycho-physical response, allowing those in its field to be more aware of their bodies and surroundings', Gormley declared in 1988. [9] Something of this urge to engage us, individually and together, is in evidence here too, though perhaps less overtly than in those recent projects: there are no clear rules of engagement, and the sculptures, blocks and frames and tanks, appear at first mute and ungiving. And yet, even though subjected to rigorous abstraction of form and various transformations of scale, these works remain figures.

A generation of minimalist sculptors in America, from the mid-1960s, found a focus for their work in the balance and relationships of mass in space, from the perspective of the viewer. They adopted the exhibition space of the gallery as the prime site of encounter between the work and the world: sculpture's placement in the gallery was integral to its nature and its effect, and necessarily involved the presence and engagement of the viewer to 'complete' the picture. Gormley's work has always been in dialogue with this position - with the room installations of Robert Morris's 'unitary objects', with Donald Judd's boxes, the floor pieces of Carl Andre and the constricted spaces of Bruce Nauman's Corridors and Steel Cages. He is alive to the bodily implications of the minimalists' abstract sculptural forms and so refuses what he sees as the constraints of minimalism's resistance to the body metaphor: despite these artists' constant recourse to the human measure, to 'body-relative scales', their formal language invoked instead the forms of the industrial unit and the processes of mass production, refusing any association with the predicament and pathos of the human condition. It is this refusal - this limit, or loss, as he would see it - that Gormley, in turn, refuses to accept.

The objects, or figures, in METER in the Villa Kast - unlike the statues in the gardens outside - stand on the same ground as us. This establishes an equivalence of sorts, but maybe one that only heightens the sense of confrontation. In a recent exhibition at the State Hermitage Museum in St  Petersburg, [10] Gormley set his machined 'Blockwork' figures in dialogue with the Museum's collection of antique statuary, on a neutral grey floor raised to the height of the statues' classical plinths to create, in effect, a level playing field for antique and contemporary works and viewers alike. 'Bringing the Gods down to earth', as he put it, by eradicating the plinth was of course what modernism had done with sculpture more than a century ago, from the time of Rodin. In bringing the classical figures down to his and our level, Gormley was proposing for these idealised and elevated forms a new and different role, in a more-real world, and exposing them to a closer form of scrutiny. The forced equation between those works of antiquity - those Gods with their ideal forms, their attributes and their myths - and his own anonymous, industrial and unlovely figures with their patina of rust, heightened the contrast between the two but also forced our own closer identification with both, as we looked at and moved between one and the other, mindful of Gormley's reminder that each work 'displaces a space where someone could really stand'. [11]

Here again, in METER, the figures are on our level, but not on our scale; larger than our own body size, in the competition for the space of the modestly-scaled villa they dominate. There is, perhaps, an implied or actual sense of pressure within these confines, emanating from the works: co-existing with them, we can, perhaps, more strongly feel our own body as a spatial formation, and sense how, as Maurice Merleau-Ponty put it, the world is 'given to us through our bodies'. [12] So this occupation, or taking up of space, in one sense renders each of these sculptural 'bodies' active even when apparently inert: these obdurate forms are, we might say, (to invert Gormley's own formulation) not just being but also doing.

Gormley's repeated reference to the body as both an object and a place can never be far from mind, and returns us to the essence of his sculptural proposition: to the paradox of enclosure and exposure that  he connects with his childhood experiences of lying, floating, eyes closed, within the infinite or 'dimensionless' space of his own body. Speaking of this condition of 'being in a body', the sense of embodied consciousness, Gormley recalls his introduction in India as a young man to the discipline of Vipassana meditation, a key moment of realisation for him that he links to his decision to become a sculptor. In the exhibition METER, with its introduction of this new body of work in this space, all the fundamental tenets of Gormley's belief in sculpture are brought into play. The body, abandoned by modernism - its 'lost subject' - returned to sculpture and asserted as the inalienable basis for our encounter with self, and others, and with the world. The origin of each work in a moment of experience lived by the artist - the 'truth claim'. The invitation to empathy the work extends, as a catalyst for more intense self-awareness, a direct experience of our own bodies - 'the wager of the work'. The extension from the fact of the body as a private, contemplative inner space to the notion of the body in relation to other bodies, as part of a relational field - a 'collective body'. And, last, an imaginative reframing of the body, in space and time, on a macro and micro level - from cell to cosmos - as a 'provisional energy field in space'.

Between cell and cosmos, at a scale related to the human body, is the realm of human habitation, and it is here, in the equation of our spatial condition with that of architecture, that METER brings all these concerns together: 'We are minds enclosed in bodies and our bodies are enclosed in architecture'.  [13] In a very early work, ROOM, in 1980, Gormley reconfigured a set of his own clothes (his 'second skin') shredded fine and strung in lines around a square to describe the space of the body conceived as a room. ROOM II, a concrete work of 1987, presented architecture as pure geometry, a hollow cube, a maximum compression, the minimum space necessary for the body. The notion of confinement and security held simultaneously in these sculptures - the constricting containment of architecture and the boundless freedom afforded by internal space - is a pervasive dialectic present in every form of Gormley's alliance of body with building, sculpture with architecture. It was present in the large-scale installation ALLOTMENT II of 1996, a room-sized field of concrete encasements of personal space ranged to form a sort of urban grid to be explored, moved through. It is there in BREATHING ROOM, in MODEL, the body-building, and in his collaborative project (with architect David Chipperfield) in Kivik, Sweden, SCULPTURE FOR THE SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF ARCHITECTURE, in 2008.

All these are, essentially, environments, incorporating the viewer's body in architecture. For the last decade and more, Gormley has developed, alongside, a genealogy of works in discrete series - the most recent displayed in METER - that construct the form of the body itself in the 'language of architecture': the block, the box, the rod, the frame. The earliest of these, from 2001, described the body surface - its 'skin' - with a loose or tight grid of steel blocks of identical size - as a basic unit, like a cell, or a solid pixel. From 2003, Gormley began to work with a canon of blocks (four, and then six) of similar proportion but multiplied volume, and to construct figures as mass rather than following their surface form or filling a body void, as before. He proceeded according to the structural logic of building itself - of load and support - propping and stacking, balancing and cantilevering blocks, seeking an equation between the expressive language of body posture and the rigour of geometric architectural form, pushing the body to the point of abstraction and aiming for the greatest economy of means, the minimum number of elements to describe each form. This led to a crucial step - to a finding of body form with blocks of irregular size, which carried their own individual form and logic, positioned to describe the body rather than filling the designated space of a body mould with a regular set of volumes. This significant development was made possible when the laborious procedure of casting the original pose from the artist's body gave way to a sophisticated process of digital body scanning and design.

In recent years one series after another has extended the range of methods and materials, using iron, steel and (now) plaster, in the form of blocks, elongated beams, geometric rods and open 'space frames', in an extensive probing of the potential of the 'dialectic of mass and space', on terrain where sculptural and architectural first principles intersect. The influential German architect and theorist Gottfried Semper, in 1862, observed a distinction between the two basic procedures of building: the 'tectonics' of the frame, the spatial matrix of linear components, and the 'stereotomics' of the earthwork, the stacking of solid, load-bearing units. Kenneth Frampton, adopting these terms in a consideration of the 'poetics of construction', characterises this distinction: 'framework tends towards the aerial and dematerialisation of mass, whereas the mass form is telluric, embedding itself deeper in the earth. One tends toward the light and the other toward dark. These gravitational opposites […] may be said to symbolise the two cosmological opposites to which they aspire; the sun and the earth.' This polarity of principle and form is acknowledged, and redeployed, in the contrasting open matrices of the 'Frame works' - like PLACE, for instance - and the weighty, earthbound cast iron solids of a work such as WARD.

To this complex interplay of forces Gormley has added, increasingly in recent years - and particularly here, in METER - the 'game of scale'. The rhythmic relation of human scale/sculptural scale/ environmental scale has always been crucial to sculptors' intentions and sculpture's effect, whether or not within an architectural 'frame': Michelangelo's David, originally intended to be sited on the roof of the Duomo in Florence, is five metres tall; Giacometti proposed figures of a height of around eight metres for his (unrealised) 1959 project for Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York. But Gormley, in this exhibition, engages scale, expansion and enlargement in two different ways, and to radically different formal and emotional effect. The 'Blockworks' and plaster figures exhibited here are, you could say, 'straightforward' enlargements, scaled up to one and a half or two times life-size, or reduced to half-size, retaining a measureable relation to our own bodies. The geometry and proportions of these abstracted figures, and of their solid or transparent elements, remain unchanged. The works are still self-evidently 'figural', despite their enlargement: they hold their outward form and the internal dynamic of their posture as they stand, sit or lie. What is at work in the 'Expansion works', however, is a different manifestation of expansive force.

Each 'Expansion work' begins, as ever, with the artist's body, adopting a fixed pose, and rendered by a number of volumes ('seed blocks') 'found' within the body space. The volume of each block is then expanded, through an incremental increase in the length of its edges, while the midpoint of the volume holds its position relative to all the other volumes. Rather than growing outwards together as discrete, integral, connected forms, each expanding volume eats into the space of its neighbours: think of the way in which ripples spread outwards and intersect when a handful of pebbles is thrown onto water.

This image of expansion returns us to Gormley's early, intuitive notion of the body as 'a place of becoming, where events happen', [14] the centre of an energy field that expands from our core to establish a continuity between us and the world. He expressed this idea decades ago in the drawings RUNNING MAN 1979 and EXERCISE BETWEEN BLOOD AND EARTH 1979/1981 - 'a diagram of the fields of active influence that surround a man' as he put it  at the time. [15] The concentric circles described around the body in these two-dimensional works recall the processes of organic growth marked in the rings of a tree trunk, or the repeated layers of casing in his early lead pieces: they mark at once an extension outwards into space and a containment, a delimitation of that expansion or energy force. A similar idea was expressed in the early cast iron 'Expansion' pieces, such as BODY 1991/93 and STILL RUNNING 1990/93, whose surface forms traced the furthest reach of the artist's outstretched limbs. Gormley described them later as 'contained explosions', and it is this sense of the arrested release of matter and energy, of the body caught in a state of provisional stasis, a tension between centrifugal push and gravitational pull, that returns in the 'Expansion works' in METER. The extent of the expansion to which they are subjected is an intuitive sculptural decision: there is a limit, beyond which any sense of the body's volumes, the dynamics of the pose, the vestiges of human form threatens to give way to a chaos of vertices or a brute cubic mass. Arrested at this crucial point of expansion, there can still be something disquieting, clumsy or even on occasion strangely comical in the pathos of their entrapment, the enforced fusion of organic and geometric form. The massing of the 'Expansion works' is different to the dense self-evidently grounded structures of the 'Blockworks'; these new figures can no longer be read as load-bearing constructions. Their dark volumes, swallowed within, lose their determinacy; they can be completed or fully conceived only in the imagination.

Protective cocoon or place of confinement? Insistent presence or withdrawal, withholding? A growth, or a death? Where might contemplation of the enigmas of this imaginary space lead? The cosmological metaphor, much to the fore in Gormley's thoughts in recent years, is perhaps one of the most compelling. A key feature of the Big Bang model describing the origins of the universe is the concept of the metric expansion of space, by which, in an expanding universe, the distance between parts of space increases, over cosmological time and on a cosmological scale, even without those parts moving; thus, the scale of space itself is changed. This is the so-called Hubble expansion which, following the questions prompted by Einstein and Friedmann a century ago, observed a broadly measurable moving apart of all objects in the universe free from the restricting force of gravity - an accelerating phenomenon, subject to the repulsive force of dark energy. The concept is hardly an intuitive one, and it's difficult for most non-specialists to grasp; but the ideas and mental  images it evokes, of the relative nature of space and time, the opposing forces of attraction and repulsion, energy and mass, can all be brought to bear in considering the implications and effect - imaginative and physiological - of the 'Expansion works'. They confront us with a complex set of voids, part physically stated and part understood, whose volumes have been made to expand as their physical dimensions increase while their centre- points - which describe and hold the memory of a real body at a moment in time - remain, as we know but cannot see, unchanged in relation to one another, still in place.

How do all these sculptural forms resonate with the project of architecture in modernity? 'Architecture is the thoughtful making of spaces', Louis Kahn wrote in 1957: [16] the Modernists' rhetoric and visions of a new spatial architecture at the beginning of the twentieth century equated space with geometry, and conceived it primarily in terms of the body and universal metaphor. For the first time, as architect/theorist Cornelis van de Ven has observed, 'space was seen as the embodiment of human activity inside the architectural shell. It represented the extension of the functional human body in three dimensions'. The determination of space was the central objective of the De Stijl movement in Holland, the thinking of a new spatial order based on geometry, in spacetime, in four dimensions: 'The foundation of the building is in space', wrote Theo van Doesburg in 1916, and his manifesto of 1924 proclaimed: 'The new architecture is anti-cubic […] it throws the functional space out from the centre of the cube, so that height, width and depth plus time become a completely new plastic expression in open spaces.' [17]

Gormley's plaster figures bear some formal resemblance to Van Doesburg's dynamic concrete models for MONUMENTS or Georges Vantongerloo's 'Interrelation of Volumes' sculptures of those years; they call to mind too the 'Architektons' of Kasimir Malevich, those complex assemblages of plaster blocks ('molecules of energy') through which he expressed his futuristic architectural vision in the 1920s. These models, most of them now lost but famous through photographs, were Malevich's propositions for an architecture of Suprematism, expressions in ideal form of Suprematism's cosmic consciousness, its symbolic triumph of energy and space over solid matter and gravity. 'A man buried in a cube must liberate himself', proclaimed Malevich in 1918; [18] and, speaking of his vision of the Suprematist future: 'In this new world, we feel  crowded on earth, we soar in space, we hollow out new passages in its elastic body…' [19]

Malevich's bold imaginings were resolutely on the level of the ideal and the absolute: his white plaster models proclaimed the supremacy of the aesthetic, the idea, over the utilitarian. A more practical manifestation of this spatial conception of architecture, of equal interest here, might be that of Adolf Loos's designs for private and social housing based on his concept of Raumplan ['plan of volumes'], an approach to architecture conceived in terms of spaces, not planes, which worked from the inside out, which aimed at a resolution of mass and volume, a 'perfect harmony between external appearance and internal spatial complexity'. Loos's stance was anti-style, anti-ornament, and his villas, such as the famous Moller House in Vienna of 1927/28 and the Müller House in Prague of 1928/30, are complex cubic configurations that (as one historian describes) 'represent a form of enlarged dwelling for the body in which one lives. They assume not only an intimate psychological innerworldliness but also a sculptural, anthropomorphic corporeality.' [20] (When Loos came to design his own tomb, in 1931, he chose the form of a perfect cube.)

'We comprehend space and scale only within a frame of reference which is finite. Confined space - open and closed - is the medium of architecture.' So said Walter Gropius, in 1947. [21] It has been argued that the Utopian ideas of space-time advanced by De Stijl and the Bauhaus in the 1920s were denounced as alienating by the architectural avantgarde in the prevailing existential climate of the postwar period, when 'the earth was seen again as  a finite whole that was forced to grow inwardly rather than outwardly. It led to new concepts of integration, ecological complexity and maximum density, the existential theory of place, substituting the former materialist concept of space.' [22]

The question of the degree to which we can empathise with abstract notions of absolute space, space-time, the distance (and the bridges) between the idea and the reality of architectural space, our understanding of the nature and scale and potential of space and our lived experience of it - between what we can observe and feel and what we can only know - is of relevance here. 'Although we may have discovered that the cosmos is an infinitely expanding void, this does not necessarily improve man's concrete habitation on earth', wrote Van de Ven: '… despite the infinity of the universe, the earth surface we inhabit forms a limited whole in which living creatures find a place.' [23] Otto Friedrich Bollnow, writing on 'human space', was of like mind. He stressed the distinction between mathematical space and experienced space: '… despite all our knowledge about the infinity of the universe, space, as we concretely experience it […] has always remained finite for us in nature. We sense this particularly clearly in the experiences […] in which space draws itself more closely around us in fog or in the night.' [24]

It would be wrong - or certainly limiting - to read the exhibition, METER, as a dystopian view of architecture, of its controlling order, of the constrictions of the urban grid, the competition for space in a world starved of room and resource, though there is somewhere all along an ambivalence be-  tween the sense of security and incarceration, the acknowledgement of a trajectory that extends from architecture's beginnings as primeval shelter to its possible final function as protective bunker. As ever, everything returns to the body within the built form, its real and its imagined presence - as Adolf Loos, writing in 1910, recognised: 'When we come across a mound in the wood, six feet long and three feet wide, raised to a pyramidal form by means of a spade, we become serious and something in us says: somebody lies buried here. This is architecture.' [25]
MANIFOLD is an 'Expansion work' derived from that most internalised, self-composed or self-containing of poses - the body seated on the ground with arms enfolding knees drawn up to chest - so familiar from the funerary or memorial block statues of Ancient Egypt. As Gormley's earlier work ROOM II attests, this is the body position of maximum compression, closest to a cube, and the closest expression too, perhaps, of the equation of body and building proclaimed by the architects of Modernism and pursued here again in this exhibition. As a form, MANIFOLD reveals the body at the point of surrender to architectural structure. Its emotional appeal and effect - so far and so different from the Baroque beckonings and contortions of Paris and Pluto in the Gardens outside - could best be thought of, maybe, in terms of a sense of pressure, to be read outwards from the sculpture's contained spaces, buried one within another, that bear the memory of a human form, and back into the work from us, the viewer, affected physically not (in this case) by a commanding disparity of scale in real space but by a sense of the uncertainty of spatial measure as it relates to the body, the unknowability of what we might think we should know best.

In the end, METER throws us back on ourselves, our dreaming of vastnesses, our experience of the spaces we inhabit and move around in, the particular sensations aroused in us by these space-consuming sculptures. The rigour, the blankness and the reluctance of some of the work to encourage emotional identification with it - the refusal of abstraction to invite empathy - may be a challenge, even a provocation on the artist's part, but ultimately what is demonstrated here is an expression of potential, a refusal to accept the containment of scale or the limitations of our imagining of it. The carbon and casein drawings that Gormley includes here, as a complement to the sculptures, drawings such as BRIDGE, are - like the model of the exhibition, with which this exhibition and these thoughts started - expressions of an idea, attempts to connect, liberated from the determination of absolute, measured scale. These are private thoughts or impulses, free of the material realities and necessary calculations of the sculptures. Their formal language is that of the architect's axonometric projection but the language is loosely applied: these are floating, limitless extensions of geometric body forms in the infinite - the body in and of space. The 'Dark drawings', shown alongside, act as a sort of counterpoint: they map a parallel and imaginary projection into and a repeated probing of the inner dimensions of the 'Expansion works' - dimensions of which the sculptures' external forms give us an indication, but only an incomplete measure. The impulses implied in these series of drawings, suspended in a kind of tension between density and weightlessness, darkness and light, connect with the words of the great thinker of space Gaston Bachelard: 'Immensity is within ourselves. It is attached to the sort of expansion of being that life curbs and caution arrests, but which starts again when we are alone. As soon as we become motionless, we are elsewhere; we are dreaming in a world that is immense.' [26]

1 László Moholy-Nagy, 'Von Material zu Architektur' (1928, trans. by L. Moholy-Nagy as 'The New Vision and Abstract of an Artist', 1928), 4th edition, New York: Wittenborn, 1947, p.57.
2 Christian Hubert, 'The Ruins of Representation', in Kenneth Frampton and Silvia Kolbowski (ed.), 'Idea as Model', New York: Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies/Rizzoli International Publications, 1981, p.17.
3 Peter Eisenmann, 'Interview', in ibid., p.124.
4 'Antony Gormley: Model', White Cube Bermondsey, London, 2012.
5 Viola Weigel, 'Sculpture as Way and Place From Monument to Installation', in Markus Brüderlin, Friedrich Teja Bach (ed.), 'Archisculpture' (exh. cat.), Basel and Ostfildern-Ruit: Fondation Beyeler and Hatje Cantz, 2004, p.163.
6 'Antony Gormley: Blind Light', Hayward Gallery, London, 2007.
7 'Antony Gormley: Horizon Field Hamburg', Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, 2012.
8 'Antony Gormley: Breathing Room', Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, 2006.
9 Antony Gormley, statement, in Bruce Ferguson and Sandy Nairne (ed.), 'The Impossible Self' (exh. cat.), Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba, 1988.
10 'Antony Gormley: Still Standing', State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, 2011-12.
11 Antony Gormley, in 'God's Body: Dimitri Ozerkov interviews Antony Gormley', 'Antony Gormley: Still Standing' (exh. cat.), State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, 2011, p.59.
12 Otto Friedrich Bollnow, 'Mensch und Raum' (1963, trans. Christine Shuttleworth) as 'Human Space', London: Hyphen Press, 2011, p.269.
13 Antony Gormley cited in Mark Brown, 'Antony Gormley blinds viewers with brilliance in new London show', The Guardian, 3 June 2010.
14 Antony Gormley, conversation with Iwona Blazwick, in Steven Levinson, Will Self and Iwona Blazwick, 'Antony Gormley: Some of the Facts', London: Tate Publishing, 2001, p.152.
15 Antony Gormley, unpublished lecture, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, 1981.
16 Louis Kahn, 'Perspecta IV' (1957), pp.2-3, quoted in Cornelis van de Ven, 'Space in Architecture', Assen: Van Gorcum, 1987, p.XI.
17 Theo van Doesburg, 'Towards a Plastic Architecture' (1924), English translation in Hans Ludwig C. Jaffe, 'De Stijl', New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1971, p.185.
18 Kasimir Malevich, quoted in Andrei Nakhov, 'Malevich: Painting the Absolute', vol.3, London: Lund Humphries, 2010, p.56.
19 Kasimir Malevich, 'Anarkhiya', Moscow, 7 June 1918, unpaginated.
20 Markus Brüderlin, 'Archisculpture' (exh. cat.), Fondation Beyeler, Basel, 2004, p.66.
21 Walter Gropius, 'Is There a Science of Design?', in 'Scope of Total Architecture', New York: Collier Books, 1970, p.39.
22 C. van de Ven, op. cit., p.XIV.
23 Op. cit., p.19.
24 O. F. Bollnow, op. cit., p.282.
25 Adolf Loos, 'Architecture' (1910, trans. Wilfried Wang) in Yehuda Safran and Wilfried Wang (ed.), 'The Architecture of Adolf Loos' (exh. cat.), London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1985, p.108.
26 Gaston Bachelard, 'La poétique de l'espace' (1958); (1964 trans. The Orion Press Inc.); (1969 trans. Maria Jolas), 'The Poetics of Space', Boston: Beacon Press, 1969, p.184.