If you ever wanted to create your own artwork -- but, like me, are totally useless at drawing -- now is your chance! And all you have to do is stand there.
Artist Antony Gormley is looking for 2,400 volunteers to occupy the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square this summer for his new artwork, 'One and Other'. Twenty-four hours a day, for 100 days, a member of the public will stand on a column at Trafalgar Square for one hour. You can bring anything you can carry up with you. And what you do when you're up there is totally up to you!
"The square has its history as a place of national identity," Gormley said in a recent Telegraph article, recalling the fact that the plinth was built in 1841 to display an equestrian statue for which funds were never raised. "My project is about trying to democratise this space of privilege, idealisation and control. This is about putting one of us in the place of a political or military hero. It's an opportunity to use this old instrument of hierarchical reinforcement for something a little bit more… Fun."
The Man and I registered our interest at http://www.oneandother.co.uk/ and we're awaiting our applications! True, standing in a deserted central London square at 3 a.m. in the rain (in all likelihood -- this is London after all) may not be your idea of a good time, but when else will you have the chance to look across the iconic Trafalgar Square from such a unique position? And to be part of such an interesting artwork?
I have to admit I'd never heard of Antony Gormley until a few years ago when we literally bumped into one of his sculptures. Parking on Waterloo Bridge, as we usually do when we go to the South Bank, we pulled up alongside a human-sized metal object on the pavement. It hadn't been there when we visited the previous week, and it looked as if it had dropped from the sky. There was nothing to identify what it was, even.
Looking around the horizon over the next few hours, we kept spotting more and more of the strange-looking figures perched on roof-tops around the river. The effect was oddly disconcerting, as if you were being observed by something otherworldly.
Jim Dyson/Getty Images
Further investigation revealed that these sculptures were actual casts of Gormley's body, and that 31 of them were dotted on buildings around Westminster for an artwork called Event Horizon.
On his website, Gormley said it was designed to "get under people's skin" and make them "feel slightly uncertain about what's going on in the world that you are living in". Mission accomplished!
This time, I want to be the one watching others from lofty heights!