We already have a Ring of Thanksgiving, a Hands across the Divide, and Trillian‘s on her way [for what they’re worth – Ed] But, IMHO, there may be an opportunity for Northern Ireland to host a public work of art on a scale rarely seen. Antony Gormley’s Another Place looks likely to need a new home and, let’s face it, we could use a great public work of art..Antony Gormley already has a sculpture here, and although some didn’t appreciate it, the description in this essay suggests a more nuanced sculpture than those individuals saw.
The way to repetition leads over mirroring, a more restricted form of multiplication. In ‘Sculpture for Derry Walls’ (1987) a figure is carrying its mirror-image on its back: a kind of reversed ‘Kiss’ of Brancusi. The supine version of this dorsal mirroring reminds of Rodin’s ‘Fugit Amor’. And those forebears remind us of the fact that also the formal principle of mirroring has its figurative roots: frontal symmetry is the primeval form of the spatial relationship between lovers. With Antony Gormley, such symmetry is formally eroded and negated through reversal.
But back to the present situation – Antony Gormley, and Another Place..
100 cast iron nude figures.. initially designed for a coastline installation, but here stranded beyond the reach of tides. Some of the figures scattered across the major towns and cities of Northern Ireland, and possibly beyond, all facing and converging in increasing numbers on the grounds and buildings at Stormont.. waiting, if the new March deadline fails to be reached.. and, should that deadline be met, watching.
Something of a permanent reminder, from that supposed ‘peace dividend’, for those responsible for the lack of peace.