His show is a wonderful pimp for the melancholy strumpet that is Londontown. Event Horizon makes me love her all over again. The 31 life-size iron casts of Gormley's body dotted about the London horizon evoke both a Fritz Lang race of futuristic robot rebels and an ancient colloquy of scarab-shelled guardians. The labyrinthine city is the muse of the detective novel and the crime thriller, and the figures stand like silent witnesses, impassive menaces, gagged judges, tantalising red herrings. I stood outside the Hayward Gallery, and looked at them, and they looked at me. Magic.
What is perhaps the most extraordinary thing is that, amongst all those gargantuan domes and obelisks, monuments of brick and stone and steel, the men are the only thing you can see. Their impossible fragilty, the mortality that they symoblise just as they evade it, is hugely touching and brave. They reminded me of an old picture from Jump London, the parkour documentary.
Defiant, weak, beautiful.
Ah, Lahndahn. The further I am from that place, the more I love it.