While I was in Hamburg I went to an exhibition in the Deichtor Hallen called “Horizon Fields Hamburg”. Well exhibition may be the wrong word as all it really is, is a massive (2,500sq feet) suspended platform seven and a half meters off the ground that you walk on. The platform is coated in a black shiny and reflective layer of plastic (or something like it) and everything on and around it is mirrored in it.
The sensation you get when you start walking on this floating ground is very odd and a little bit disorienting. As the ceiling is mirrored below your feet you get the oddest feeling as if you are walking on air or are somewhere in between the sky and the ground. The idea behind the installation is that the people on it make the art and what happens to you and what you experience is what it is all about, so the artist Anthony Gormley.
As the platform moves below your feet and everything anyone does while on it makes it vibrate, shift, sway, swing and shudder you can’t help but be connected to each other, which for some may not be all that pleasant. And while you navigate around the surface your senses are heightened yet you walk with careful teetering steps, feeling a little drunk or aboard a ship on high seas.
As I sat on the platform and watched people jump, skip, dance, meditate and prance around the area I couldn’t help but smile at how silly they all looked, yet how happy they all were. By forcing people to remove their shoes, walk across a large empty area below the platform climb stairs and then step onto a surface so unlike any they have ever experienced before their whole attitude and perspective changed. Being taken out of any comfort zone will do that and encourage people to see the world through other eyes, in this case eyes that have a 7.5 meters above the ground point of view.
I know that some people struggle with installation and interactive art but in this case I do believe that the challenge it gives you is not one about the art or the artist but one that is all about yourself. And I for one will take the experience of the Horizon Fields with me and hope that the experience I had will change something within me, even if it only means shifting my perspective by a few centimeters. And an added bonus this is didn’t cost a penny.