11 March 2009

Sunday 1 March 2009 Chat

I don't know what it is about the People's Plinth and Anthony Gormley's idea that I like so much, but like it I do.
Anthony Gormley is an artist, sculptor, all-round man of the people and best known (I guess) as the designer of Angel of the North, the immense open-armed metal structure, modelled on himself, that towers above the A1 and welcom
es travellers to Gateshead and Tyneside.
Now he's been charged with filling the fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square for 100 days from 6 July this year.

I'm guessing it was anticipated Gormley himself might sculpt an artistic creation for the purpose. But no.

Used to producing BIG ideas Gormley's come up with something even bigger and more monumental than anything he's come up with before - and aft
er the Angel nobody thought that was possible.
Gormley's idea is truly monumental; he's inviting people from all over the UK to apply for a one hour slot to do whatever they want on the plinth, as long as it's legal.
For a total of
2,400 hours the fourth plinth will be a representation of humanity, time allocated according to areas of population in an effort to make this a genuinely national 'work'.
For artistic work it most assuredly will become, a 100-day living monument in the company of Trafalgar Square's existing male, military figures, allowing us, the viewer, to reflect on the individual in contemporary society. Apparently.

Thankfully there's BIG money behind thi
s idea, funding 4 cameras on the plinth, all streaming live via Sky Arts and recorded as an archive. A BIG project, indeed.
Will the People's Plinth become an artistic 'Big Brother'? Is this a reality-TV experiment that will attract applicants intent on grabbing 60 minutes of fame where 15 seconds are usually more than enough? Are we going to be watching the creative equivalent of paint drying?
With a sky-high risk factor, a height at which Gormley is after all used to operating, this idea is surely the ultimate in public, community, art and without question a potentially thrilling idea.

Anthony Gormley's People's Plinth
project is called One & Another. For an hour on the People's Plinth applicants must be over 16 and UK residents. Volunteers will be lifted to the plinth via a lift platform, making it disabled accessible. Applications can be made immediately and those chosen will be notified from April.
Register at
www.oneandother.co.uk or send a large envelope and £1.08 in stamps to Artichoke, Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E16AB.
GOOD LUCK and see you at the Plinth!

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