Fog in a box

Went to see the Antony Gormley exhibition today, and went in some fog in a box! OK, bit more serious than that… perhaps the most hyped art thing this summer, the fog in a box actually deserves to be talked about. What they don’t tell you: it’s extremely wet. The atmosphere is so moist it’s like breathing in water, which adds to the feeling of claustrophobia. It also smells weird.

But it’s amazing. In a strange way. You literally can’t see further than your outstretched hand, but you can hear all these people around you but have no idea where they are. Your eyes are searching for something to focus on, but it’s just pure white until someone momentarily emerges from the mist – but then they vanish again, because the point isn’t to find people, it’s to be disorientated. (I became very aware of the floaters in my eyes against the white.) It’s amazing how quickly you realise you have no idea where you are. I got completely freaked out when the exit wasn’t where I thought it was, and the box seemed to have developed a kink in the walls. Perception totally shot to pieces within a couple of minutes. It’s how it must feel to get lost on the moors (all those gothic novels always seem to involve some damsel wandering in fog), and my reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell at the moment did not help with the staying-calm-ness.

I took these photos quickly, without flash, before getting told off…

Picture_004 Fog in a box
Picture_005 Jamie trying to find the exit
Picture_003_2 This was only a jet of fog leaving the box, and you can’t see a damn thing

Of course, the other part of the exhibition that everyone knows about is the statues standing on landmarks all over London. I’ve seen a few of these and thought they were quite cool; but as Kate handily remembered, they all face the Hayward and when you’re on one of the viewing platforms you feel like you’re being watched by a fleet of Autons or Cybermen or some other sci-fi nightmare, poised to attack, all looking at you from above… *shudder* Deeply, deeply, unsettling.

Picture_006 Picture_007

Later, in Pizza Express, I got to relive a childhood nightmare as the toilet started making gurgling noises and blurping the water (the nightmare: green goop seeping out of the toilet, slowly flooding the bathroom and then covering the entire house. Especially unnerving in hotels). Generally a freaky day.

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