Event Horizon opened on March 26 and runs through August 15. It has already caused quite a stir around New York, but causing a stir is nothing new for 59-year-old British sculptor Antony Gormley.
All 31 life-size sculptures are of the same male figure – made from a cast of the 6 foot, 2 inch artist himself. Only four figures are on the ground in the Madison Square Park area. The remaining 27 sculptures are literally framed against the sky, many of them perched on top of the historic buildings that encircle the storied park.
A few sculptures are several blocks away, and one is as far as 8 blocks away standing on a ledge at the 26th floor of the famed Empire State Building, which Gormley referred to as “the exclamation point” in a New York Times article before the exhibit opened.
According to that same article, the New York City Police Department actually felt the need to preemptively issue a statement that reassured the public that the figures were sculptures and not people on the verge of committing suicide. But that is far from the effect that Gormley is looking for from observers. He’s hoping they will see these simple figures in a different way given their uncommon positions in the cityscape.
Provoking viewers to look at ordinary objects in a different way is pure Gormley. He exhibited his figures in London in 2007 atop buildings and bridges, and thought “it was great to see an individual or groups of people pointing at the horizon,” according to eventhorizonnewyork.org.
As remarkable as the Event Horizon exhibition is itself, the fact that Madison Square Park is the setting for the exhibition is even more remarkable. As recently as 10 years ago the Park was an eyesore and near abandon. But thanks to the work of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, created in 2002, the 163-year-old park has been transformed into one of the most attractive big city parks anywhere.
What is on the horizon for your company? I would encourage you to find ways to creatively provoke your employees by taking them out of their ordinary surroundings, and exposing them regularly to the extraordinary.
You’ll soon find it will transform your company into a very attractive place for both your employees and your shareholders.