25/04/2015 — 27/09/2015
Florence, Forte di Belvedere
26 April 2015 – 27 September 2015
Preview 25 April
Exhibition promoted by the Comune di Firenze
Organised by Mus.e
with the support of Galleria Continua and White Cube
Artistic Supervision by Sergio Risaliti
Curated by Arabella Natalini and Sergio Risaliti
From 26 April, Florence will host the work of Antony Gormley, one of the most acclaimed sculptors working today. The exhibition HUMAN follows on from the success of exhibitions by Zhang Huan, which marked the reopening of the Forte di Belvedere in 2013 and Giuseppe Penone in 2014. Curated by Sergio Risaliti and Arabella Natalini, HUMAN brings together over one hundred works by Gormley in the inner rooms of the villa, the bastions, the staircases and the terraces, to occupy every side of the 16th century fortress with its extraordinary views over the city and the surrounding hills.
The exhibition includes the artist's seminal installation CRITICAL MASS, an "anti-monument evoking all the victims of the 20th century". The work was originally conceived for a disused tram depot in Vienna in 1995, to "activate the whole building and make it a site of reflection on the dark side of German history". On view on the lower terrace of the Forte, CRITICAL MASS acquires a new potency in relation to a renaissance city, the history of humanism and the continuing and ever-present relationship between money, militarism and power.
Gormley states: "On the lower terrace, twelve body forms are installed in a linear progression, from foetal to stargazing positions, recalling the 'ascent of man'. Opposite, on the western side is a jumbled pile of the same bodies. Here, abandoned manufactured iron objects, each ten times the specific gravity of a living human body, reflect the shadow side of any idea of human progress, confronting the viewer with an image redolent of the conflict of the past century. This dialectic between aspirational and abject is the tension that runs throughout the exhibition."