International exhibitions

International 2009 Archives

Antony Gormley, IHME Project

20.03 - 13.04.2009

07.09 - 25.11.2012

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Press release

The first cluster of IHME productions by the Pro Arte Foundation Finland will bring ground-breaking art prominently into the midst of everyday life in Helsinki. The event centre on Clay and the Collective Body, an IHME Project by Antony Gormley in the Kaisaniemi sports field and continues with the IHME Days for Art at the Old Student House, as IHME Edition, to be published the same week. Participatory visual art has never before been seen in such prominence in public spaces in Helsinki. The project will take place from 20 March to 13 April 2009.

Sculptor Antony Gormley (born in 1950) will create a work in the sports field in Kaisaniemi park in Helsinki, bringing together clay and Helsinki locals in a specially erected pneumatic building. Clay and the Collective Body will feature a huge clay cube that will be both a challenge and a shared bodily experience. Designed specifically for Helsinki and realised for the first time here, Gormley's work brings together Mass, Space and Energy in a response to the aims of the Pro Arte Foundation Finland: to ask questions about who make art, how art can be made ans who can be for.

The Clay and the Collective Body project will start with a huge clay cube the size of a small house (4 x4 x 4m) and weighing 160,000 kilograms, housed in a well-lit, humidified pneumatic building. In the first phase of the project (from 20 to 24 March), the public will be able to view the constructed cube. In the second phase (from 25 March to 3 April), the public will have an opportunity to work on and with the clay and to use it to make objects of any kind, big or small, alone or with others.

People wanting to work with the clay can sign up for the project at the Foundation site from January 2009, or on site during the project. The work will take place in four-hour sessions, with a maximum of about 2.000 participants. Services will be provided on site to ensure uninterrupted work on the project.

The Clay and the Collective Body is open to everyone. Here is the artist's invitation:

Antony Gormley invites you to participate in the making of a new artwork. Come alone, with a friend or family membre - anyone between the ages of 8 to 100 is welcome! You are asked to commit at least four continuous hours of your time to transforming a huge four-meter-tall cube of clay using your body as the only tool. The cube awaits you in a warm and humid space.


The key element in Gormley's work is transformation - in this case of a universal material. In the course of the project, the clay will be transformed from a natural product into a constructed one, from an ordered, monolithic, integrated mass into a mutiplicity of forms shaped by the collective mindscape and touch of the inhabitants of Helsinki.

Working with clay offers an opportunity for meditative, concentrated activity with an emphasis on non-verbal, bodily communication. The public will be able to view the final result of the project from 4 to 13 April 2009. The schedule is still subject to change.


Antony McCall, Breath (The Vertical Works), Hangar Bicocca, Milano

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved

Antony Gormley, HIME projet in Helsinki, 2009 Antony Gormley, HIME projet in Helsinki, 2009 Antony Gormley, HIME projet in Helsinki, 2009

               Antony Gormley, HIME projet in Helsinki, 2009