British artist Antony Gormley is known for his sculptures in elemental materials such as lead, iron, clay or steel that frequently use a cast of his own body as the starting point for a phenomenological or ‘psycho-spatial’ experience. ‘Still Falling I’ engages with the motion of the figure, and has at its core an empty body space: the space around the figure during movement. The artist has described his work as an ‘attempt to materialise uncertainty’:the uncertainty of things that we know to exist but don’t have the language to describe. The piece is suspended in space so that the base hovers slightly above ground level – always approaching; always falling; always moving: yet the ambiguous word ‘still’ in the title could also be read as calm, or static, and for Gormley the stillness of an object as confronted by the movement of the viewer is key.
The work is made from a stilled moment moulded from the artist’s body diving earthwards and expanded consistently into space until its bounding condition becomes fruit-like. The core supports and risers of the original casting become incidents on its rugged, organic surface. The reassessment of the body as a place of potential, identified by a carapace that contains darkness, reaffirms Gormley’s insistence of the body as a place and the imagination as a force which acts on that zone.
This work was commissioned by IMMA for its opening in 1991, and was shown at IMMA from 1991 – 1994. To mark IMMA’s reopening at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Ocotber 2013 it was reinstalled as part of the exhibition ‘One Foot in the Real World’.
|Medium||Cast iron, air|
|Dimensions||334 x 115 x 85 cm|
|Credit Line||IMMA Collection: Purchase, 1991|
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