Scale of Anish Kapoor’s sculpture is frighteningly extraordinary

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Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand
Photo: Paul Kramer/paulkramer-filmmaker.nl

Published: April 28, 2017

Last updated:

Anish Kapoor’s largest sculpture

North of Auckland, in a stretch of land called Gibbs Farms, sits Anish Kapoor’s Dismemberment, Site 1 (2009). The scale of this sculpture is frighteningly extraordinary and is the largest one that Kapoor has ever created; it is the height of an 8 story building.

How the work makes you feel

Unsurprisingly, the sculpture makes little effort to blend in with the expansive landscape; however, it does a great job of complementing it. The sculpture imposes itself on you, and it draws you in, dominating the area in which it sits, so much so that the sculpture appears to have always been there. This speaks to the work that went into the sculpture’s construction and design.

The sculpture transforms into a trumpet

Kapoor had to create a free-standing sculpture that would last for long, which is why the monumental sculpture was created using Serge Ferrari textile that is set up to survive harsh winds and severe weather conditions. The sculpture elicits various visual sensations and interpretations from the scores of people that arrive daily at Gibbs’s farm. At first sight, the Dismemberment sculpture looks like a swollen ear whose primary purpose is to capture the sounds and the spirit of the landscape. However, with every winding turn that you take, the sculpture transforms into a large external trumpet that appears to be signaling and calling travelers from distant lands.

Analysis

In a way, it bears a resemblance to the trumpet that Joshua1 used to spy on the town of Jericho in the Bible2. Like with every art installation, the audience reserves the right to interpret a masterpiece depending on the feelings that the piece evokes. Some people have interpreted the sculpture and found it to represent a large-sized vulva, while others think that it represents the head and nucleus of a large bright flower.

Conclusion

Kapoor created the sculpture as a way of connecting the body to the sky. The tubular red structure symbolizes colostomy bags, and the red color represents the insides of the human body. The red is internal, but it externalizes itself in various ways. The sculpture also suggests that it may be a motherly creature that is brought forth by the earth and the tube represents flesh, skin, or a dismembered artery that is bleeding on the ground possibly feeding and rejuvenating the soil it rests on. From within, the sculpture is intimate and private, however, from inside it, the landscape emerges paving the way to new life in a fragile earth.

Photos of Dismemberment, Site 1

Anish Kapoor – Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand
Photos: Andym5855/flickr.com


Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand


Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand
Photo: jontycrane/jontynz.com

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand
Photo: jontycrane/jontynz.com

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

Anish Kapoor - Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009
Anish KapoorDismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

All images by Anish Kapoor/anishkapoor.com unless otherwise noted.

Location of Dismemberment, Site 1


0984, 2421 Kaipara Coast Hwy, Makarau 0984, New Zealand
Official website of Gibbs Farm
Open monthly by prior appointment only to artists, educational institutions, charities and the public. Booking form
There is no fee for visiting Gibbs Farm.

Videos

Gibbs Farm

1min 15sec

Anish Kapoor speaks about his works incl. ‘Dismemberment, Site 1’

1h 8min 54sec

Lecture at Hirshhorn Museum in 2015.

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