Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The Fourth Plinth

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

I have not had time to watch enough of the Trafalgar Square plinth to decide whether it is a bold and thrilling use of public space or a thing of unremitting banality, which seem to be the two currently prevailing views. A quick glance at the webcam set up to record the event showed a man dressed in a large fish costume. No one seemed to be paying the blindest bit of notice. (Actually, now I think about it, that may be the most conceptually interesting thing about that particular hour - man dressed as fish in middle of large cosmopolitan city; everyone goes about their business as usual; as if fishmen are only to be expected in London's fair city.) There was also a very nice view of the fountains. It reminded me how much I love Trafalgar Square. I love the pale blonde length of the National Gallery; I love the lions and the fountains and old Nelson up there on his column; I love that it is built on a slope.

I also love Antony Gormley. I thought Field was a work of immense power and beauty, and beauty is not a word that often applies to contemporary art (the purists think that aesthetic appeal is only for the soft-headed and moribund). Also, I like his smiling face. So I'm going to give the whole thing the benefit of the doubt. I am particularly interested to see what goes on in the dead of night.

What I do like very much, and the real reason for writing this little bloggette, is the pictures Alex Beckett has taken of the first day. Do go and have a look at them. The one of the father and daugher booing the BNP should give heart to unreconstructed liberals everywhere. And let's face it, we need all the heart we can get.


PS. If you have time, go and look at this report on the event from the New York Times. It's very funny.


  1. Had an image of Dom Joly reading the NYT piece 'I'm on the plinth!!' There is something rather eccentric and British about it all - the poo costumes and the 'no sex please. sex after art'.

  2. I'm a big Anthony Gormley fan but I'm not totally sure about the plinth. I quite like the idea but when I went past yesterday I just saw a girl dancing in a fox costume, which was nice enough but I'm not sure it was all that different to a school assemly. Still I guess it's cool she can do that.


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