This installation by Anish Kapoor is a depiction of the fluidity and motion of water as a liquid mass and the void into which it descends. Descension is an impressive sculpture that depicts water’s continuous swirling motion as it rushes down an 8m (26-ft) diameter vortex representing a powerful physical form that is sucked into the earth. This art piece induces a mesmerized feeling in the audience when viewing the perpetual black water being pulled down into an unknown interior. Descension also induces a visceral feeling like the center is an abyss that seems bottomless and which sucks the water that spins into a vortex as it descends into this abyss. As such, the installation conveys different meanings and feelings based on the viewer’s own experiences. For instance, while some may view it as a transience of humanity’s existence, to others, it looks like a portal into a different world or even, a window into the past or future.
Anish Kapoor – Dismemberment, Site 1, 2009, mild steel tube and tensioned fabric. Each end 25x8m, length 85m, Gibbs Farm, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand
Photo: Paul Kramer
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.
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.