Monday, 13 July 2009

One and Other

If you haven't noticed already Antony Gormley's new project 'One and Other' has started in Trafalgar Square, London. Staged on the 'Fourth Plinth', Gormley has invited members of the general public to adorn the plinth in one hour intervals, every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days without a break. That will be 2400 people over the space of the next 100 days. An interesting and thought provoking project to say the least – is it an easy cop out for such a well known artist, or a beautifully captured time-relevant presentation of Britain in 2009?

Last night i wrestled with Mrs Acer over which bit of this project is the art (as usual i was pile-drived and then leg locked into submission :-). Who is the artist? And who is making the art? Which bit of it IS the art? Does it matter...?!

Mrs Acer had a definitive view on it all. It was performance art by whoever was taking stage at that moment. The selected member of the public was the artist and remained the artist until they were removed from the plinth. What of Gormley?, i asked - He just made it happen, she replied.

Hmmmmmmmm. Im not so sure.
Gormley is best known for his public sculptures and winning the Turner Prize in 1994. I personally love the ‘Another Place’ installation of 100 cast iron replicas of his own body spaced along Crosby Beach near Liverpool. I have never seen the work in person, but I love the idea, the pictures I have seen of it, and the fact it really annoyed a lot of narrow minded people. It seems One and Other has also caused a bit of controversy too. I like this piece for the idea that Gormley is presenting to us – the future rather than historic figure of the past. Undoubtedly, part of the success of the project will be the media coverage, the TV shows, website streaming and thousands of people who, like me, are blogging about it and uploading photographs of it. I have always viewed new technology as something to be explored and used and I like the way Gormley has decided to use new media to work alongside the performance (or non-performance) of the public.

So we continued our discussion about what would you do with your hour if you were on the plinth…
Personally, I don’t have anything I really want to shout to the world about or have any specific ‘good cause’ that I would like to promote in exchange for the media cameras pointing at me. But that was when the idea took a hold of me – I think I would like to take photos from that vantage point, to turn the camera on the cameras. Perhaps a study of the camera men filming me or just go back to basics and make a 360 degree panorama of Trafalgur Square. It’s not an opportunity you would very often and I think it would be a good spot to work from for an hour – no one to interrupt you, space to yourself, a very popular and interesting landscape to work with – This could be a good hour’s worth of photography.

So I applied.

Who knows, in a month or so I could be posting those very images up here. The media capturing me, capturing them, watching me…

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Yesterday was a family day. I took the fam-crew down to St Pauls Carnival and for the first time ever, chose to follow the floats and procession down City Road and onto Portland Square over the usual ritual of seeking out the cheapest place to get a 4 pack of Red Stripe and 2 pieces of jerk chicken. My little man slept through 20 of Bristols loudest sound systems and woke up a little confused to say the least... He still loved it though - all the colours and general buzzing atmosphere proved to be a hit with him.

Taking photographs here is great fun. Every where i pointed my lens there was a smiling face looking back at me. I went out with the intention of taking candid portraits, but everyone down there was more than happy to pose. It made for some great images...

See the slideshow here.

and i did manage to sly in a jerk chicken pea and rice lunch too... :-)

Friday, 3 July 2009

Shorts and Shots

Still warm enough to be out in me shorts and shirt at 11pm. Love that.
Popped into Friend and Co to see Sainty's show - bit spooky, somewhere between Nightmare before Christmas and the tree scene in The Living Dead.
Snapped a few photos on route home...

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Bigger Trees

Flicking channels yesterday i stumbled across BBC one's Imagine programme with David Hockney. I think it was around half way through already and the first thing i saw was a stunningly pieced together montage of Hockney's recent paintings depicting a country scene viewed from the same spot at various times throughout the year. Despite there being a lack of any human presence within the paintings, when Hockney was discussing the works he said that his scene was not an empty one because 'it's about someone looking at it', to which interviewer Bruno Wollheim asked 'But then are there any landscapes that are empty?'
'Do we know what an empty room looks like?' Hockney replies.

Definitely worth a watch, even of it is just to take a quick look at the montage mentioned above - I have always found his work to be a great source of inspiration and it was nice to find out a bit more about Hockney the man. I find it reassuring to find that his mannerisms reminds me of my Grandad (except for the chain smoking...)

See it here
Montage starts at about 38:40