Friday 26 October 2007

Public space and the body

"I don’t agree with Louise Bourgeois's famous saying that art is a guarantee of sanity. For me it’s much more a sharing of anxiety than anything to do with catharsis. It doesn’t relieve, but amplifies and shares anxiety. By making objects that carry my uncertainty, I learn to hold it, as a vehicle for sensitivity.

"The negotiation of gazes in the city.

"Finding our places in the context of looking and being looked at.

"It’s reality gazing back at you. They make me uneasy. They create a story. They express a prohibited anxiety, a search for certainty.

"The figures are not me, but places where I once was.

"They’re not statues, since they represent nothing and no one in particular. They are… declaratory vehicles, a reinforcement of a form of objectness.

"To what extent do we own our bodies? To what extent are we just passengers?

"The body declares its redundancy. It is a trap for our empathy.

"Their lack, their stillness, call on our feeling.

"They suggest the possibility that our bodies are deeply embraceable.

"To collapse uncertainties about insideness and outsideness.

"Is anxiety negative? Can it be positive? A way into choice? Yes. And also neither positive nor negative, but our condition, a sharpener of our perceptions.

"To approach an almost unbearable anxiety may be what we need and gravitate towards.

"Perhaps it takes age to experience being this raw and not flee it.

"The picture that looks back at you in an expected way is part of the prevailing symbolic order. Here he’s concerned not to reinforce the prevalent representational order… art as a space where we can familiarise ourselves with the unknowable, escape from the prevailing symbolic order.

"I am trying less to deal with personal responsibility than with where human imagination fits into a space/time/cosmic context.

"The isolated perilous figures on rooftops evoke empathy, concern and intense feeling. They evoke perhaps the common enhancement of feeling when in a perilous place.

The horizon as a limit of humanness – only imagination can transcend it."

Roughly, inadequately culled fragments from a discussion: Antony Gormley with Renata Salecl, Susie Orbach and Darian Leader.
But how wonderful - there's a podcast!


Sky said...

i hope you are feeling better. just wanted to say i am concerned and sending you good wishes.

Jean said...

Hello Sky
Yes, I'm okay, thanks!