7th May – 3rd July 2010
Anna Schwartz Gallery Carriageworks
FIRMAMENT IV is a single substantial sculptural installation that tests and responds to the architectural limits of the gallery space constructed within the historic Carriageworks.
It is a single ‘expanded field’ constructed from 1030 x 150 mm diameter steel balls and 1849 steel elements, welded together to create a non-regular, polygonal structure whose form dissolves and resolves throughout the gallery. Huge in scale, measuring 20 x 12.6 x 8.4 meters, and built in situ so that it pushes hard up against the edges of the gallery space, the installation is an assembled matrix of volumes that map a celestial constellation while also implying the form of a body lost within it. With its graphic outline, FIRMAMENT IV, the fourth in a series of works that attempt to map space, is the most monumental to date using elements that engage boldly with both the viewer’s body and with shared space.
The resulting web could be construed as an expanded diagram of microscopic mineral structures as much as a condensed and domesticated map of the heavens. At times the work feels claustrophobic, at others it comes across as a landscape-like gestural drawing.
Gormley’s work has always been about perception, testing what the experience of our physical presence in certain conditions of time and space. In this installation, the viewer is asked to continually readjust their relationship to the field as it is navigated.
The work was developed with Tristan Simmonds and builds upon the collaboration that has been developing rapidly in the last three years with major projects all over the world.