The Unbearable Banishment: DON'T JUMP! Oh. Wait. It's only a statue.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

DON'T JUMP! Oh. Wait. It's only a statue.

I love big art installations and New York has a fairly steady diet of them. They're not like paintings, which can be viewed over and over again. Once they're disassembled, that's it. You'll never see them again. I fondly remember taking 8-Year Old Daughter to see Christo's Gates in Central Park several years ago. People complained about it but I thought it was fantastic. Now it only lives in photographs. If you haven't seen it before, I encourage you to take a look at this post for Ernesto Neto's anthropodino. It's the best installation I've ever seen.

If you're coming to New York this summer [Jo] be sure to visit artist Antony Gormley's Event Horizon outdoor art installation at Madison Square Park. It's a series of statues that are placed on the roof ledges surrounding the park. When it was being set-up, the NYPD took measures to assure the public that they were not jumpers on the threshold of suicide.

This statue stands at the apex of the Flatiron Building. [All pics are clickable.]


There are 31 statues in all, but only four are on the ground. You can spend time craning your neck trying to locate each statue or you can do what I did and printout the map that's on his site and bring it with you.


This is my favorite picture because he stands in the shadow of the Empire State Building spire.


This guy...


...is way the hell up there.


Here's one of the four statues on the ground. The statues on buildings are fiberglass but these four are iron. I was a little shocked about the genitalia. What do you tell the kiddies? For each statue, Gormley wrapped himself in saran wrap and then was covered with wet plaster. He had to remain motionless for about an hour while the plaster dried. I love artists and actors. I love their kookiness.

Here's an article and interview from the New York Times that will enhance your visit.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Pueblo girl said...

All you need is a copy of Nock Hornby's "a long way down" in your hand as you tour the statues.

Sounds like the genetalia could have been a good springboard for a little off-the-cuff lesson in human anatomy/biology...

April 6, 2010 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Bastard said...

I like the concept, what a superb way of placing interesting pieces of art.

April 6, 2010 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

PG: That's a great reference! I'm a big Hornby fan -- a shelf of signed first editions is part of my library -- and the genesis for this idea could have conceivably come from the mass jumping plot point in A LONG WAY DOWN.

Jimmy: It's also a superb way of showing off your package to the general public.

April 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

http://www.sefton.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page=6216

I thought I saw these statues before.

(I'm feckin' useless at links, so don't know if this will work!)

April 6, 2010 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Map: That's him! Well done, you! He's British and mounted the same show in London in 2007.

Here's a link.

April 6, 2010 at 6:35 PM  
OpenID daisyfae said...

i love this! nursemyra and i should bag out trip to greece and just come to NYC instead.

saw the 'crosby beach' pictures that mapstew posted and fell in love. 'don't drown' vs 'don't jump'.

April 6, 2010 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

Xlnt!

Now I just need to get some more 'puter lessons from the Youngest!

(BTW, I spent an afternoon in the City Gallery with her today! See what an influence you are?) :¬)

April 6, 2010 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I'm not imitating stupid facebook when I say I like this a lot.

April 6, 2010 at 11:34 PM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

daisyfae if you bag our trip to Greece I'm gonna KILL you!

Let's do New York next year though.

Re: the statues. Stephen cast several full sized bodies in fibreglass, one of them was a naked Osama Bin Laden look alike called Dave. His genitals were deliberately much larger than normal and the MCA were initially reluctant to include Dave in the retrospective of Stephen's work. He held his ground and well hung Dave was included. He's in the book that was published but there's no photo of him on the MCA website unfortunately. It's a fantastic piece of work

April 7, 2010 at 4:48 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: Nursemyra is right. You MUST go to Greece. New York isn't going anywhere.

Map: Hard to believe I had any influence over you. I can't even influence my own kids!

Jo: It's not life-changing art, but it DOES make for a pleasant afternoon.

Nurse: I think we talked Daisy down off of a ledge. Is Stephen's stature available online anywhere? Ugh, to be a bin Laden look-alike.

April 7, 2010 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger kyknoord said...

All I could think was, "How cool would it be if one of them was kitted out as Iron Man!"
*sigh* it's so hard to leave childhood behind.

April 7, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

He's got pasties on his nipples but his package is exposed... Interesting.

Very cool exhibit, though! Great photos - thanks!

April 7, 2010 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I love big art installations too! I would love to get to NYC to see this in person, but it probably won't happen. It is nice to be able to see it through your eyes.

April 10, 2010 at 12:29 PM  

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