Thursday, February 26, 2009

london calling

Though London Fashion Week wrapped yesterday, I've decided to share a different kind of art with you from across the pond. Today, The Guardian reported the latest project from British sculptor Antony Gormley to be installed atop the granite plinth in the corner of London's Trafalgar Square.

The medium? You.

The installation, named One & Other, consists of 2,400 British citizens who will position themselves on the plinth for one hour each. The exhibit opens July 6th, and will run 24 hours a day, for 100 days. What exactly will participants do during their 60 minutes of fame? Just about anything they can come up with. Gormley said yesterday: "I will be very upset if somebody doesn't take off their clothes when they get there." Nudity or not, let's hope this sculpture-meets-performance-art installation is more exciting than watching David Blaine prune up in a tank of water for a week.

Gormley went on to say:
"The idea behind One & Other is a simple one...through elevation onto the plinth and removal from the common ground, the body becomes a metaphor, symbol, emblem - a point of reference, focus and thought. In the context of Trafalgar Square with its military, valedictory and male historial statues to specific individuals, this elevation of everyday life to the position formerly occupied by monumental art allows us to reflect on the diversity, vulnerability and particularity of the individual in contemporary society. It could be tragic but it could also be funny."
The casting call for One & Other is already underway. But before you practice doing your best worm for the auditions, you should note that all participants will be randomly selected, but weighted to ensure equal numbers of men and women, and fair representation for all regions of Britain. Gormley himself will be applying for his hour in the sky, along with the director of the British National Portrait Gallery which will host a live camera link to the plinth through Sky Arts for the entire 2,400 hour exhibit.

The human form is a common subject for Gormley's art, which tends to be based on his own naked image and often contains strong sexual overtones (click here to read about his proposed 36-foot ejaculating man sculpture for Seattle's waterfront). His best known work is perhaps his Angel of the North, a public sculpture in Gateshead, England commissioned in 1995 and erected in February 1998.

Antony Gormley's Angel of the North

Visit Artsy's page on Antony Gormley for a comprehensive look of upcoming exhibitions, Gormley's works, and exclusive articles.


LyricLemon said...

This is so cool! I wish I were there to see it. Thanks so much for posting it.

London is also calling this week because the opera Carmen is at Royal Albert Hall.

And, even though Fashion Week is now over, fashionistas are still flocking to London to shop!

Sarah Cheffy said...

Thanks, LyricLemon! Be sure to tune in around July 6th for the live webcast at Sky Arts:

...and thanks for sharing the Carmen link, too! I love that pic of The Milestone Hotel.

LyricLemon said...

I love this blog! It's just so interesting! There's always something unique to see.

And I feel the same way about London, too. And so many things in London are absolutely free! You just have to walk around and use your eyes.

(I'll definitely tune in for the live webcast, although I wish I could be there in person, Sarah!)

Sarah Cheffy said...

Thanks so much, Lyric! I'm posting daily, so be sure to visit!