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…

1 comment:

Adam Thoroughgood said...

Fingers crossed you get up there!

I saw it in passing the other day, the guy wasn't really doing anything just taking pictures on his phone and texting apparently.

I waved ferociously at him and he waved back.

It's certainly interesting, it seems like a really simple idea but they are often the best. Absolute logistical nightmare as well - getting people on 24/7 with drop-outs, etc.

Fair play to Gormley and the organisers, I say.