Any visitor to Trafalgar Square cannot help but notice the four large plinth or platforms which mark the corners of the square.Â Erected in the mid nineteenth century, these hold statuary of the lion and Generals type.Â All but one, that is.Â The plinth in the northwest corner, directly in front of the National Galleries stands empty, or has for most of its existence.
A couple of years ago a contest was staged which solicited ideas for what to put on the fourth plinth.Â This is really rather difficult at this stage, as London have gotten quite used to it being empty.Â Many responses to the challenge were received, and a select group of these have been getting their day, as it were, for the past year.Â When Pawn visited Trafalgar this past May there was a sort of post-modern deconstructivist piece up there, involving metal and perspex and some lime green stuff.Â Rather distasteful if you ask me.
Anthony Gormley has a different idea.Â His piece, One & Other invites regular folk to mount the plinth, assisted by a cherry-picker, for an hour each, 24 hours a day, for 100 days.Â These 2400 people were selected by lot, and within reason are allowed to do what they wish with their time on the plinth.
Jill Gatcum, above, made an eloquent gesture with a baloon release.Â She had solicited 60 of her friends and family members to each make a donation to charity which they would not normally have done.Â She then assembled 60 helium baloons, each bearing a card comemorating her friend’s donation and soliciting whomever eventually found the baloon to similarly make a donation they would not otherwise have made.Â During her hour up on the plinth, cheered on by her friends and family below, Jill released one baloon every minute, and then came back down to earth.
The Independent Online have published a photo gallery celebrating the begining of this audacious project.Â Check it out.
Public art that is cheered, not reviled! O to be in London…
Not always cheered in a good way, as this article attests: