austrian alps

alpine installation art

"Horizon Field" by Antony Gormley, Vorarlberg, AustriaWe just returned from a week of alpine activities in the breathtakingly beautiful Vorarlberg region of Austria. The last thing I expected to encounter in this winter wonderland was installation art, but encounter it we did.

Antony Gormley's Horizon Field is a "landscape intervention" comprised of 100 life-sized cast iron human figures, all placed 6,689 feet above sea level in an area of over 93 square miles. The sculptures were scattered throughout the areas we skied, bearing silent witness to the extraordinary snowfall of this particular winter.

Mother Nature seemed to play along. Some sculptures were buried up to their shoulders in snow. Others were surrounded by ski tracks, left by visitors gliding by for a closer look.

Antony Gormley's "Horizon Field," (embellished)Humans played along, as well. I had mixed feelings when I visited this festively decorated sculpture. Fun? Sure. Disrespectful of the work? Perhaps.

Apparently the local authorities think so too, making regular runs to patrol for and remove these human interventions.

For more images, details, and an FAQ with the artist, click here.

Gormley's two-year installation remains in place through April 2012.

For a comprehensive list of things to do in the region, check out Jacky Miller's blog post 100 Best Things to Do in Austria.