|Saw it where you did, in the BM extension, sfd. I have only seen pictures before and was keen but didn't really know what to expect. I feared it would be silly, somehow. And it is silly, very very funny, but also a massive piece, moving and thought-provoking. |
The process of manufacture apparently (deliberately?) causes differences in eventual colour and many hands are employed in the making, so each figure is individual. And yet hundreds might be made by the same hand or fired together in the kiln, breaking the mass into little groups, striated through the piece. I hadn't anticipated that and it was very thought provoking, all the little clay tribes.
Standing there, towering over the figurines, you feel quite exposed because of the gaze of the multitude of little upturned eyes. You feel appraised and questioned. You don't often feel under scrutiny as you scrutinise art. There's even the Toy Story suggestion that they would all be doing something else if you hadn't interrupted them and drawn their attention.
It's absolutely brilliant and I'm so glad I went to see it. What a clever bugger Gormley is. I know Haus has been to see it too. Would be interesting to hear from him about the echoes of ancient, primitive sculptural forms, if there are any. The BM suggests there are and plays these up in its publicity, dotting their collections with linked figurines from many cultures. I didn't have time to check those out because I got lost looking at the Dürer show instead.