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Another Place

by on October 18, 2012

Another Place

Something a little different…

I was contemplating the title of our module: ‘Performing Objects’ and consequently the question: ‘What does an object have to do to perform?’

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Another Place is an art installation by Anthony Gormley.

It consists of 100 iron-cast life-sized figures which are scattered on a beach (FUN FACT – the figures are actually sculpted on the artist himself!). These pictures come from when the installation was in Liverpool a few years ago.

Now, unlike most automata and robots, these figures do not move but I argue that they do, nevertheless, perform.

The perform with each other, with the tide (as the tide comes in it submerges some of the figures), with whatever or who ever interacts with them. And also it depends on whether you are viewing them from a distance (and taking in the 100 together) or up close (and examining the figure’s detail and individual quality).

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Like Automata and Robots, there is no human presence (originally, although the humans encountering the figures do make for interesting viewing!) Maybe I should say ‘there is noneed for human presence.’ Furthermore, I think these figures remind us of our own humanness.

a.) because they are not human – but take human form.
b.) because one views them as they would view 100 humans on a beach, and there is something quite poetic and profound about 100 silhouettes on a beach. Together but on their own – if you really wanted to push it you could say that this is a representation of our lives. We are social animals (we are usually together; in families, at University) but we can also be seen as alone (only we can read our thoughts, we dream alone, we are all unique and have to think for ourselves.)

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It is an interesting discussion where this fits into theatre and performance…whether we think this is: performance, installation art, or performance art.

Thanks,

Alex

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