ANOTHER PLACE, Antony Gormley’s sometime controversial installation is a collection of one hundred cast iron figures of his own body facing out to sea. Spread over a two mile stretch of Crosby Beach, it was positioned in 2005 having previously been displayed in Germany, Norway and Belgium. Due to be moved to New York in November, 2006, Sefton Council had the foresight to raise funds to buy this great piece of art for present and future generations to enjoy.
Antony Gormley has said that the installation is a poetic response to the individual and universal sentiments associated with emigration – sadness at leaving, but the hope of a new future in Another Place and that ‘the seaside is a good place to do this. Here time is tested by tide, architecture by the elements and the prevalence of sky seems to question the earth’s substance. In this work human life is tested against planetary time. This sculpture exposes to light and time the nakedness of a particular and peculiar body. It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships, moving materials and manufactured things around the planet.’
He also said that ‘I think there’s that thing in Another Place of looking out. It’s what we all do: that’s why people go to the seaside, to see the edge of the world, because most of us spend most of our time in rooms.’
He observed that opposition to the installation’s remaining on the beach ‘illustrated that no landscape is innocent, no landscape is uncontrolled. Every landscape has a hidden social dimension to do with both its natural usage and the politics of territory. I like the idea that attempting to ask questions about the place of art in our lives reveals these complex human and social matrices.’
The first set of photos, taken in the summer of 2006, record Gormley’s vision. In addition, as with so much of his work, the figures become part of the landscape and individuals make their own responses.
The second set of photos, taken on Boxing Day 2009, shows the work literally in a different light. The sun sets on a winter afternoon and becomes a bleak, cold night. Long exposures capture the magical quality of the landscape at low tide and night walkers become part of ANOTHER PLACE.