Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby notjim » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:26 am

Anthony Gormley to construct a 43 metre sculpture in the liffey - wow!

from today's times:

"A sculpture two-thirds the height of Liberty Hall by internationally renowned artist Antony Gormley has been commissioned by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

Costing an estimated €1.6 million, the sculpture is likely to be located in the river Liffey close to the Seán O'Casey footbridge, pending planning permission.

While the final form of the work is yet to be decided, the artist has been inspired by the research of Trinity College Prof Denis Weaire who, with Prof Robert Phelan, "unlocked the geometries of the bubble matrix", or "double helix", to "radically redescribe the human form as an open structure".

The London-born artist is perhaps most famous for his Angel of the North, a massive sculpture that put Newcastle on the international artistic map. He wants to have the Dublin sculpture "arising from the water as a drawing in space".

Mr Gormley said: "The work will allude to the human body as a dynamic interconnected matrix evoking the collective body, which is in itself in dynamic relation to the movement of people in the street and across the new Seán O'Casey Bridge."

The sculpture is expected to use previously unused construction techniques to build the 48-metre-high structure and carry its weight.

According to the authority, the work will be "a signpost for the realignment of Dublin's epicentre eastwards". In other words, they want to move the "city centre" to the docklands, as a symbol of the development and the large numbers of people moving in to the area. The sculpture "will read as a drawing against the changing light of the sky, within an area of Dublin that has low-rise buildings on both sides of the river".

Mr Gormley has evolved this proposal from Field, a vast installation of 35,000 sculptures last seen in Dublin in 1993 at his show in Imma, where tiny clay objects looked up at the viewer.

This dynamic has been reversed in this proposal for Dublin, where the pedestrians on the street will be "Lilliputians" relative to the sculpture.

The docklands authority will apply for planning permission at the end of the year and, if successful, construction will begin in 2008 and take about eight months to complete.

Mr Gormley's latest exhibition, Antony Gormley: Blind Light, was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary and is on display at the Hayward Gallery in London until August 19th.

The artist was selected from a shortlist of six after an international competition for the landmark public art project for the docklands."
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby GregF » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:34 am

This sounds cool!
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby phil » Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:45 am

I wonder what Dublin City Council will make of this?
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:35 am

Oh for the love of g-d. They've really lost it now, haven't they?

DockLANDS. DockLANDS. Leave the bloody river alone! Every time DDDA goes near a body of water it sets alarm bells ringing for me, and this instance is no different. That stupid red carpet, the Heneghan Peng slipways, the Future Systems bridge, the Abbey in the dock, and now this?

Where does the DDDA get the money to do this? And how did it arrive at the decision that this is the best way to spend €1.6m? It all smacks of an organisation with so much money it doesn't know what to do with it, and so little imagination that it thinks the public will be impressed simply by big names. The Calatrava is lazy, the Libeskind hackneyed, the Schwartz tacky and overly fussy- you're not fooling anyone!

DDDA: by special appointment to his highness The Emperor since 1997.

This is a fucking disgrace. Piss off and do some real work for a change.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:13 am

The whole signature-building-by-a-brand-name-architect phenomenon is touched on by Hugh Pearman in this recent article: http://www.hughpearman.com/2007/10.html Though I don't agree with him about Nigel Coates - an architect whose work either bores or annoys me - many of the points he raises are relevant to this discussion.

Offputtingly dull though the Tate's Global Cities exhibition is to anybody not obsessed with numbers and analysis, it does make one very important point: such is the growth of the world's cities that, for the first time, more than half of the world's population now lives in them. That has nothing to do with landmark buildings or the globetrotting signature architects who provide them. It's all to do with finding ways to accommodate everyone. When it comes to the way people live, good ordinary buildings count for a lot more than the headline, sculptural stuff. Clean air and water counts for a lot, too. But that's not something you get fees for designing.

Are you listening, DDDA?

Tell me - tell me honestly - that this is the best way you can think of to spend that amount of money.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby JoePublic » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:27 am

ctesiphon wrote:Where does the DDDA get the money to do this? And how did it arrive at the decision that this is the best way to spend €1.6m? It all smacks of an organisation with so much money it doesn't know what to do with it, and so little imagination that it thinks the public will be impressed simply by big names. The Calatrava is lazy, the Libeskind hackneyed, the Schwartz tacky and overly fussy- you're not fooling anyone!


*Rolls eyes*. You people kill me, you moan and groan about the blandness of the docklands so far, and when they start having some really interesting projects in the pipelines, you moan and groan about the opposite!

Fair play to the DDDA for showing some vision.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby THE_Chris » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:41 am

The London-born artist is perhaps most famous for his Angel of the North, a massive sculpture that put Newcastle on the international artistic map. He wants to have the Dublin sculpture "arising from the water as a drawing in space".


That thing is dreadful. I hope he doesnt try and make anything like this.

Hopefully its too tall and the NIMBYs will go nuts. This can only be bad.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby notjim » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:47 am

ctesiphon you left out two of the worst ddda invasion of the water, the apartment block in the inner dock and dumping the ramp rubble in the outer dock, oh and the crappy ramps for the flat boat, i think the waterways museum isn't their fault?

i am undecided about this sculpting: i like gormely, i love the body forms and field was incredible, but, i agree with ctestiphon, it is a hackneyed choice, the angle of the north was a brave project, it worked and so gormely is officially a reliable provider of signature large public art for the less brave to employ. that doesn't show vision.

similarly, i would love dublin to have more, good, brave, large scale public art, the tart and the earl st joyce are so far from the fantastic expressionist delaney sculpting we erected forty years ago. however, does it have to be in the river? isn't the river and particularly that part of the river grand, majestic and great, as is, aren't there other places to put a 43m statue. with the calatrava harp shaped bridge and the cable car, not to mention the temple bar observation balloon, won't the river start to look a bit full.

has anyone seen the other five proposals?
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby henno » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:49 am

Lets hope its not akin to this ......

http://www.antonygormley.com/newsite/viewwip.php?wipid=20
http://www.antonygormley.com/newsite/viewprojectphoto.php?photoseriesid=16&photoid=1716

i personally find his work unoriginal, and very much influenced by classic visual media....... his very early work was promising but lately it has been lazy and seemily 'committee formed'....
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby Urban_Form » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:04 pm

I will reserve judgement until I see some sort of illustration of what's being proposed. Although, in my opinion, the DDDA would be better concentrating on building a Liffey barrier to keep the water levels high on low tide thus removing the stench of the entire river when the water's out.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby Morlan » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:20 pm

This is DDDA realising what a fucking drab skyline they've created on the quays. And I have a feeling that they're going to make things worse by sticking something as hideous as that 'Angel of the North' in Newcastle.

:rolleyes:
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:46 pm

I disagree completely with this proposal. I don't care who the artist is, leave the river alone, There is no need for a sculpture, especially on that big in the centre of it - the view up and down river from Dublin bridges is one of the defining features of the city - it does not need to be gilded by flavour of the month artists.

I, for one, will be campaigning against this.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby GregF » Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:09 pm

Might get something like this........

Collosus of Dublin anyone?
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby GregF » Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:23 pm

'The Streaker in the Stream'
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby GregF » Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:29 pm

'Angel of the Northside'
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby GregF » Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:35 pm

However besides being ghostly or monumental, Gormley's figures can be quite visually funny too. He is a very good sculptor. I'd give him a chance and see what he has to offer first.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby alonso » Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:27 pm

if it's female can we call it the "hooer in the sewer"
i'm all into naming things today. I agree with Paul re the river. That's the view. That's the focus of the city, and i truly believe this is an attempt to de-bland the monotony of what;s been done so far. Plus given the likelihood of much larger structures being built on Poolbeg, this would get lost from many viewpoints.

oooh i've another one (sorry off sick at the mo)
if it;s put in one of the canal basins can we call it "the Dub in the Tub"?
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby kefu » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:36 pm

Couldn't agree more that it's an attempt to rectify the blandness of the Northern Docks. But I think we should at least wait to see the scheme first.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby Morlan » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:52 pm

GregF wrote:'The Streaker in the Stream'


Very good Greg! But maybe his ass should face the DDDA offices. :p
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby AndrewP » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:33 pm

This is madness. Having failed to knit the docklands into the urban fabric of the city the DDA are now filling the Liffey up with gimmicky tat.
I don't see why we should wait and see what merit if any the sculpture has. Nobody asked for it!
A 12-storey statue sticking up out of the Liffey saying "Look over here! It's the docklands! Sorry about the crappy, boring, low-rise business park we built out as far as the east wall, but this yoke's a bit mad, isn't it?'
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby Hiivaladan » Thu Aug 02, 2007 6:45 pm

We should give this a chance before condemning it outright. Gormley is a good sculptor and the 'Angel of the North' isn't bad at all. Has to be better than the two poles of unloved abstract oddness and or souvenir shop matey-ness like Jimmy Joyce and Molly Malone.As for the river views, while the views upriver should be sacrosanct (no balloons or cable cars please !) the view down river from Butt Bridge is a bit boring. The river just runs out to a bland uneventful horizon without any interesting landmarks to enliven the view towards Ringsend. It's broad enough around there to take an interesting intervention.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby AndrewP » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:08 pm

Hiivaladan wrote:We should give this a chance before condemning it outright. Gormley is a good sculptor and the 'Angel of the North' isn't bad at all. Has to be better than the two poles of unloved abstract oddness and or souvenir shop matey-ness like Jimmy Joyce and Molly Malone.As for the river views, while the views upriver should be sacrosanct (no balloons or cable cars please !) the view down river from Butt Bridge is a bit boring. The river just runs out to a bland uneventful horizon without any interesting landmarks to enliven the view towards Ringsend. It's broad enough around there to take an interesting intervention.


-Rodin was a good sculptor, but I don't think the French would welcome a 40-metre version of The Kiss sticking out of the Seine.

-Angel of the north is on a hill overlooking a motorway. By all means commission a giant sculpture for the side of the M1 and see what people think.

-James Joyce and Molly Malone are not trendy but they are very small, inobtrusive and popular. Not sure what you mean by the two poles.

-I agree that the river runs out to a bland, uneventful horizon. But this is the DDA's fault. They built too low, for too far out for the scale of the river past the IFSC. The interesting intervention we need is proper development for what's left of the docklands to build on.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby Cute Panda » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:31 pm

The Statue of Banality?

Seriously, this sounds like it could be fantastic.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby Hiivaladan » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:43 pm

If Gormley is any good he'll tailor the sculpture specifically to the place. I doubt he'd be so insensitive as to just repeat some stuff from the past without any site-specific considerations.
I did'nt mean two poles literally (Maybe Richard Serra might have tried that sort of thing) but that some Irish sculpture seems to exist at one or other of those two extremes.
"They built too low, for too far out for the scale of the river past the IFSC." No argument there.
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Re: Giant sculpture to be located in Liffey

Postby StephenC » Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:43 am

Im quite surprise at the hostility to this....I think it sounds like a very interesting idea. I recall a sculpture in the River Spree in Berlin that looked quite well.
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