Thursday, June 07, 2007

Blind Light

So seeing as I had to be in London yesterday, I went along to the Antony Gormley exhibition at The Hayward in the afternoon. Gormley is a fascinating sculptor, whose work often explores the incarnate nature of our experience of life, and de/constructs the relationship between the body and the space around it.

Blind Light is a large perspex room filled with a dense fog of water vapour and flooded with white light. Visitors can walk all around the outside – seeing anyone inside who is also walking along the wall – and also enter the room through a single entance/exit. Stepping into the mist is immediately disorienting: visibility is restricted to two feet at most, and the sound of voices – a maximum of twenty-five people all allowed to be inside the room at any one time – is also distorted. Bodies suddenly appear out of the mist just before they bump into you.

Being inside Blind Light was a profound physical experience of the spiritual reality that we walk by faith and not by sight; and in particular of the ideas Pete Rollins has written about (held in paradoxical tension with ideas concerning the experience of the absence of God) of the hyper-presence of God, and the fact that we must walk by faith not because we have been left scrabbling about in the dark, but because the self-revelation of God floods our senses (see the Transfiguration, Matthew 17:1-13//Mark 9:2-13//Luke 9:28-36, also involving a dense cloud of mist and very bright light).

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