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Trafalgar Square becomes the site of an intriguing public art installation for the next three months

Trafalgar Square plinth Antony Gormley

London Journal: Briefly Ascending to the Spotlight, Britons Take Their Place Among Giants [Free registration may be required]

Fun, but is it art?

The Fourth Plinth: The Story So Far

Plinth highlights in 40 seconds

One & Other

Antony Gormley [Flash Player]

Trafalgar Square in London is arguably one of the most well known public spaces in a city that has a surfeit of rather fine public spaces. The Square is surrounded by a host of landmarks, including the National Gallery and the St Martin-in-the-Fields church. Within the Square, visitors often are attracted to the four enormous plinths which hold only three statues. The fourth plinth was intended to be the site for an equestrian statue of William IV, but the monies for such work never materialized. For the next three months, that empty fourth plinth will be occupied by a wide range of Britons as part of a rather intriguing public art experiment. The work was designed by noted artist Antony Gormley, and essentially it consists of Britons getting up on the plinth for an hour and doing more or less what they want. So far, people up on the plinth have drawn attention to various charities and causes, read sections from the Arabian Nights, passed out chocolate, and so on. One participant, Dr. Stephen Roser, noted, "It's a bit like being Prince Charles for an hour-having the position to be heard without any actual power."

The first link will take readers to an article from the Bristol Post which talks about the various residents from Bristol who have found themselves on top of the plinth in Trafalgar Square thus far. The second link leads to a New York Times article from this Tuesday that talks about the installation in greater detail. The third link will whisk users away to a piece from the Sunday Times that asks the important question in regards to this new installation: "Fun, But is it Art?" Moving along, the fourth link leads to a special section from the Guardian Online about the first couple of days at the fourth plinth. Those persons seeking a quick overview of the goings on at the fourth plinth will appreciate the fifth link, which features a short video clip of the "performances" thus far. The sixth link leads to the official homepage of the project (titled "One & Other"). Here visitors can watch the proceedings atop the fourth plinth, and it should be noted that "this is a live webstream that may contain offensive content." Finally, the last link leads to the official homepage of the artist Antony Gormley.
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GEM Subject
Date Issued 2009-07-10
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Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2009-07-10
Archived Scout Publication URL

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