Making an exhibition of yourself
March 2, 2009 1:21 PM   Subscribe

"I have no expectations. I would be absolutely happy if somebody got up there with an umbrella and just stood still for an hour. The idea is that this will be a portrait of Britain made out of 2,400 hours of 2,400 people's lives."

Antony Gormley’s winning artwork for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square will consist of 2,400 members of the public, invited to stand for one hour on the plinth around the clock, seven days a week, for 100 consecutive days, starting in July. Fancy taking part? You can sign up here.
posted by low_horrible_immoral (18 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I guess it will be horrible for the first couple of weeks, boring for the next month and then get interesting. Oh, and a few hundred acts of indecency.
posted by fullerine at 1:25 PM on March 2, 2009

After which time, the pillar will be covered by whatever people can pitch up there. With any luck, there will be a bowling ball and some used condoms, as some sort of post-modern take on the public's role in public art.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:31 PM on March 2, 2009

A mefite should post from the plinth!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 1:36 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

No foreigners? Pathetic.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:41 PM on March 2, 2009

The idea strikes me as reflecting our current obsessions: reality-tv and celebrity culture. Because those people who stand on the plinth will definitely be getting their 15 minutes of fame.

Or am I just a curmudgeon and not seeing the magic of it?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:52 PM on March 2, 2009

Portrait of Britain? Celebrity culture? The big net around it makes it more about healthy and safety compliance and legal liability fears than anything else.
posted by malevolent at 2:01 PM on March 2, 2009

And they can do whatever they like – except fling themselves off

Because that would be a good piece?
posted by R. Mutt at 2:03 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think this is great. I wish we had a fourth plinth in every city; it's the best thing ever to have happened to public art in England.

No foreigners? Pathetic.

Yay negativity/painting people as racists! The website says you can apply if you 'are living or staying in the UK', which probably counts millions of 'foreigners' (actually, 1 in 9 were born abroad, according to new figures). I'm guessing that you can't just be visiting for reasons of sorting stuff out beforehand.
posted by Sova at 2:05 PM on March 2, 2009

I would consider this worthwhile if they picked 2400 random people, a hundred a day for 24 hours, say, and followed them around to get a truer "portrait of Britain".

This just reads like more of a stunt than "art" to me.

I hope that when they round up the volunteers to stand on the plinth, they plan on extra folks to clean up the mess the first group is sure to make--otherwise, I see the police and the service workers having to do double-duty until this thing runs its course.
posted by misha at 2:19 PM on March 2, 2009

I wish they'd just cast some crappy bronze trad statue of a forgotten general on a big horse and stick it up there so the pigeons could have something new to shit on.
posted by Abiezer at 2:29 PM on March 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

What passes for art(ists) these days is pathetic.
posted by Daddy-O at 3:09 PM on March 2, 2009

a good piece?

You know that's a manipulation, right?
posted by cmoj at 3:29 PM on March 2, 2009

Of course.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:33 PM on March 2, 2009

Hey thanks. I thought this was still pretty interesting and a good way to spend some break time reading despite the usual kinds of 'meh' comments. Though I think it'll be more interesting to see what happens as/after it's completed.

On the plus plus plus side, it led me to Edgar Muller. And it turns out he's done some stuff that I think is REALLY cool. (Sorry, no intention to undermine, just wanted to share.)
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 4:10 PM on March 2, 2009

I'm picturing a giant slab of butter, slowly melting over the edges.
posted by buzzman at 4:13 PM on March 2, 2009

edinburgh gardens in fitzroy, melbourne has a high plinth that has been empty for must be about a century now.

heres a photo of some people who have climbed up on to it

I always saw the empty plinth as invitation to go out into the world and do great things, as if it was reminding passers by that there are still empty great statue celebrated hero slots to be filled.

a more pessimistic perspective would be that the plinth has been empty since drunken vandals pulled down a statue of queen victoria which was never repaired.
posted by compound eye at 10:34 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've registered my interest. If, by some miracle, I get picked, I promise to post to MeFi from the plinth.
posted by MrMustard at 1:00 AM on March 3, 2009

Registered. Plinth meetup?
posted by Pallas Athena at 8:30 AM on March 3, 2009

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