Iron is a concentrate material of the earth,” says the artist who invaded the Forte di Belvedere in Florence with an army of 120 men of iron. “Human” is the monumental exhibition dedicated to the work by Antony Gormley, curated by Sergio Risaliti and Arabella Natalini, and until September 27 it will occupy the land of Tuscany.
 The interior rooms of the building, the ramparts, staircases, terraces: every corner of the sixteenth century fortress is artistically involved.
Antony Gormley shows to be an artist, sculptor, architect, archaeologist, anthropologist, psychologist. 
He chose to expose his humanity: 120 copies of himself, given the material their hearths are made of, will “grow old” too. 
He gets back to place man at the center of the universe, although now the artist says he is disillusioned by humanism and aware of its failure. His realistic sculpture becomes idealized in works composed entirely of geometric solids, the “Blockworks”, which of human have only the expression of memory, the symbol and the interpretation of his anatomy.

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

 

 

 

So I enter the human-ity.
The first person I meet has his head against the wall, his back to the sky and the body perfectly folded. Gormley talks about it as an example of his “playful sculpture” for his will to “beat his head on the corner of the building”. I decide to look into his eyes before heading further into the three “Blockworks” dominating the hill.

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Down the stairs, past the city walls, I reach on the first terrace a tangle of men fighting. They are the 43 figures of “Critical Mass”: the ” anti-monument which evokes all the victims of the twentieth century. ”
The work was created in 1995 with the aim to “make it a cue to reflect on a dark moment in the history of Germany.” Lying down, bent, kneeling, weeping: they plunge headlong into the critical mass or they try desperately to get out.

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi
Head to head, I sit.

Lips to lips, I get up.

Arm against fingers, I bend.
And I dance under the gaze of 240 eyes of iron.

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

I turn towards the wall and I see an iron figure weeping. He turns his back. I hug him, reassure him, we both are alone.

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

He is warm, rays are beating on his body but our figures have no projections; and here, in his, I found mine.
 I see comparisons between bodies and geometric figures on their knees. They were born from software in the lab. They do not have skin, so what? They have no meat, no bones, no blood. They are human more than human, maybe even “too”.
 I stretch out my hand to a “Blockwork” , I touch another’s heart-polyhedron. They look tired, sad, asking for more life. I follow the “trail of a real body, shaped or scanned, and then built.”

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Nietzsche was right in his “book for free spirits.” The philosopher denounced the concept of divine inspiration in art, arguing instead that it is a result of constant and intense expressive work and nothing else.


Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

I found beating hearts and thinking minds “human, all too human” where man is by definition “only” the creative artist.
I left out the definition of Gormley as ” industrially produced fossils ” representing the body as “survival” and not “as a mirror of life.” For me those figures were 120 comrades, not reflexes. They had everything, except freedom.

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Human, Antony Gormley a Forte di Belvedere, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

#HUMAN #followtheartgirl

 

Credits:
Special thanks to: Luisa Beccaria
Photo: Alessio Torriti – Facebook – Instagram

 

AMOlinks:
firenze-gormley.eu
comune.fi/HUMAN
antonygormely.com
Giuseppe Penone al Forte di Belvedere su artmoodon.com