Norway // The South //

Antony Gormley in Stavanger

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Stavanger has no fewer than 23 sculptures by the contemporary British sculptor Antony Gormley (best known for his Angel of the North in England) and together they constitute Broken Column, whose aim is to illustrate the many facets of the city and, for that matter, life (and death) itself. Each and every sculpture is a blank-faced human figure made of cast iron and 195cm high, the same height as – and apparently modelled on – Gormley himself, though some are partly sunk into the ground. This sinking is, as you might expect from Gormley, not at random: each location has a predetermined height quota and the last one in the series, which is stuck out on a rock in the harbour, is mostly (149cm) under water. One of the sculptures is beside the Domkirke, a second is beside Torget’s covered fish market. Work began on Broken Column in 1999 and the project was completed four years later.

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