Stand, Philadelphia Museum Of Art
From late January through the end of June 2019, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present Stand, an installation across the Museum’s East Terrace of ten cast iron Blockwork sculptures by Antony Gormley, one of the most significant artists of our time.
‘Like standing stones, these works are markers in space, but I would also like them to engage the viewer’s time. I want to use material mass and the orthogonal forms of the built environment to evoke internal states. This exhibition is incomplete without the subjective witness of the citizen: each work in its different way calls on him/her to simultaneously project and recognise internal affinities in the attitude carried by the block piles. Here is sculpture not statue, less hero or ideal, more material and real: a public declaration of subjective identity.
Ten standing works, each about ten feet high, placed at regular intervals across the upper terrace where the viewer, work and Museum share a common ground. From the top of the stairs, the works are seen against the sky and the far-off towers of the city, but as you approach them, the museum is their backdrop. From afar, the scale of the works is uncertain, but as you get closer their size and mass become apparent. I want the haptic experience of walking up the 72 steps to be felt.
These rough cast iron pillars will become an open ground for psychic projection and perhaps also transmit a sense of a transitive human state. The load path of the blocks, at once stable and precarious, will evoke different states in different viewers and far from reinforcing hierarchies of power or mythologies of race, place or nation, this is a form of interrogation of both individual experience and collective identity.
This is an exciting opportunity to see what sculpture can make us think and feel. What can it do to and for us? Can it have a revelatory or diagnostic function? Can it work on us to recognise our true selves and allow collective space to again be a space in which personal truth can arise?’