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APRIL 18, 2023

Sir Antony Gormley's 'Blind Light'

"Architecture is supposed to be the location of security and certainty about where you are. It is supposed to protect you from the weather, from darkness, from uncertainty. Blind Light undermines all of that."

Consisting of only a room-sized glass box filled with a dense mist, Sir Antony Gormley’s 'Blind Light' continues to haunt the philosophical runner, over 15 years later.

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Best known for Another Place, which featured 100 cast iron figures facing towards the sea on Crosby beach, and Angel of the North, London-born Sir Antony Gormley has a unique ability to capture the public's imagination.

The majority of his work uses the human form as its basis, and Gormley describes his work as “an attempt to materialise the place at the other side of appearance where we all live.”

For runners, perhaps Gormley's most explicitly relevant sculpture is the lesser-known Still Running (1990).

It countered the orthodox approach to the challenge of making movement credible in a still object, what he described as the attempt to make a still object "pretend to be moving".

"I wanted in some way to convert the idea of a narrative frame into something that was about the potential of mass to turn into energy: exactly what ‘Still Running’ is. It counters locomotion with the idea of a singularity, the idea of an explosion..."

However, it was the mist-filled glass box, contained within London's Hayward Gallery in 2007, that connected with and haunted runners the most.

Like much of Gormley's work, Blind Light challenged the way many of us move through the world - on autopilot, not necessarily conscious of our own bodies or the built environment around us.

It cruely subverts the sense of security that architecture provides us with.

For runners this presents a more intrusive question.

When we run, are we becoming better connected with ourselves and our surroundings, or are we retreating into a deeper layer of security, the architecture of the body in motion?

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