As of 2010, a pensive steel giant has been looking out over the Markermeer. From afar the steel structure clearly looks like a crouching human figure, but the closer you get, the more abstract it becomes. Once you reach its feet – your head at ankle height – a tangle of steel elements towers above you. The whole looks chaotic, because all of the parts have different lengths.
The engineerability of this landscape inspired Antony Gormley to create the work. Driving through the polder, he was struck by the interplay of all of the straight lines of the roads and canals. He also incorporated the rhythm of the many power pylons in Flevoland in Exposure.
Gormley always takes his own body as a starting point for his work. For this work of art, he spent what he called a very uncomfortable hour and a half squatting to create the plaster mold. It subsequently took Scottish power pylon developers and Dutch engineers six years to make the work structurally solid. It consists of 18,245 steel diagonals, 547 junctions and 14,284 bolts. The giant sits with its body close to the ground – ground reclaimed here from the sea. If the sea level rises, its feet will get wet as it silently sits contemplating the horizon.
Antony Gormley's Exposure (also called: the squatting man) sits on an embankment at the beginning of the Houtribdijk in Lelystad. Click here for its address and coordinates.
More information about Antony Gormley's Exposure
Artist: Antony Gormley (1950)
Location: breakwater at the beginning of Houtribdijk (N302), Lelystad
Materials: galvanised steel, concrete
Dimensions: 25.64 x 13.25 x 18.47 m
547 nodes, 14,284 bolts, 5,468 pieces of steel
Unveiling: 17 September 2010
Commissioned by: Province of Flevoland
Proprietor: the Municipality of Lelystad
Proprietor of the breakwater: Rijkswaterstaat
Podcast over Exposure
De 26 meter hoge man hurkt op een strekdam en kijkt uit over het Markermeer. Maar wat als de zeespiegel stijgt? Krijgt de hurkende man dan natte voeten? Luuk Heezen interviewt Vincent de Boer, adviseur kunst in de openbare ruimte bij Stroom Den Haag, over de invloed van klimaat op cultureel erfgoed. Dit interview werd live uitgezonden tijdens het Land Art Luisterweekend 2020 vanuit De Verbeelding in Zeewolde.