Antony Gormley, ‘Testing a World View’ 1993
Antony Gormley
Testing a World View 1993
© Antony Gormley

Testing a World View is a sculptural installation consisting of five identical iron figures bent at right angles at the waist. The figures are based on a cast made from the artist’s body and are installed in varying positions related to the architecture of the space where they are on display. The figure’s ninety degree angle corresponds to sitting bolt upright with the legs stretched out in front, or bending over with legs and back very straight. It may also be read as corresponding to the absolute laws of geometry. Gormley explored the potential of this ‘absolute’ posture by positioning the sculptures in different orientations, for example lying in the middle of the room or against the walls, ceiling and floor. According to the artist, the different positions evoke states ranging from ‘hysteria, head-banging, catatonia, to the awakened dead and the about-to-be-beheaded’ (note from the artist to Tate curator Evi Baniotopoulou, March 2005). The work was exhibited at Gormley’s Turner Prize display in Tate Britain in 1994, when he won the prize.