XIV INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE BIENNALE OF CARRARA, 2010
26 June - 31 October 2010
Antony Gormley has created a work called 2 X 2 using Carrara white marble for the INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE BIENNALE OF CARRARA, on view until 31st October 2010. The exhibition includes works by over 30 contemporary artists among them Paul McCarthy, Yona Friedman, Santiago Serra, Cai Guo-Qiang and Terence Koh. I first came to Carrara in 1979 and made a few very small works in the marble in Saturnia Tuscany. I was amazed by the scale and beauty of the mountains and how they were cut by wires, and by the interface between the cuts' absolute geometry and the chaos of the mountains. When arriving in Carrara it's possible to mistake the marble for snow. The quarries are a primary carving, making space where there was mass. The work is called 2 x 2 and is a response to the demise of the workshops that I was shown which formerly produced funerary monuments and reproduction carvings in great quantities in the 19th and first half of 20th centuries, providing employment and community in the region; a practuce which continues, but in a very different way. My idea was to exploit the advances we have made in digital design and make a work with the minimum amount of hand work, where coordinates were directly transmitted electronically to five axis routers working at the finest resolution. The work tests the evolution of art in the time of mechanical reproduction, translating bone, skin and muscle into a crystalline packing geometry that is not dissimilar to the structure of marble itself. This is my conceit; to make a body image that in some way refers both to the great tradition of the naked body in art but also reflects our new understanding of the sub-optical properties of matter. These nesting polyhedra are found both in foams and in the quasi-crystals that are the microscopic condition of the calcium carbonate that makes up the metamorphic rock structure of Carrara marble. In making two figures for a 3 dimensional stereometry the aim is to emphasise both the lack of uniqueness and the relation between the virtual and the real.