Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Fourth Plinth

I'm probably the last person in the whole world to know about this, but in case I'm only the second to last, I'm letting you know.

Sculptor Antony Gormley had an idea for the empty Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London.

For a hundred days, a different person will stand on the plinth for an hour, changing every hour, twenty-four hours a day. And it's all on a webcam and you can see it here.

Antony Gormley, of course, was the man who created the Angel of the North, which I rather like: it certainly adds interest to the drive up the A1.

The idea of the Plinth Project (as I've just called it, I'm not sure what Antony calls it) is to create a "portrait of Britain" - so he says on the accompanying video on the site.

The only thing is, it only creates a portrait of some of those people in Britain who want to be up on a plinth for an hour. You have to apply and the Plinthers are selected by being pulled out of a hat, or its virtual equivalent.

I keep on looking - - - it's an interesting idea. At the moment we have Clare, who is hula-hooping, which is quite interesting to watch - - though not, perhaps, for an hour. Clare is young, blonde and pretty so I'm possibly not the target market to be fascinated by her hula-hooping.

The problem is that, as far as I can see, not many people seem to have thought out what they'll do if they are chosen. And therefore quite a lot of it is like watching Big B rother, but on a plinth. (Yes, I know a lot of people do like watching Big Brother, but I'm not one of them.)

Perhaps some people are seizing their moment to change the world, or sing their song, or paint their picture - - I haven't seen enough to know. Sadly, all the ones I have seen have been - - er - - dull. There are a fair proportion of eccentrics - - but even they have to do something to be interesting for an hour.

The cynic in me thinks Mr Gormley could have entitled it BRITAIN - STILL BORING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS.

I'll keep watching, in hope.


Blogger Jennyta said...

It's just after 10am and I have just watched the change-over. You would think they could at least have chosen people who would do something interesting for their hour. At the moment, there is a man shouting through a megaphone, but it loses its impact as there is no sound on the webcam.
I am wondering how much it is all costing too - just having that cherry-picker on hand scooping participants up and dropping them off can't be cheap. Antony would have done better to follow up his success with the Angel of the North or Another Place in Crosby.

10:09 am  
Anonymous ruth said...

I love dropping in on One & Other (the website that has the live stream for the Plinth Project). You are right, Daphne, some of the people are dull but quite a few are delightfully mad or worthy or entertaining.

I don't want to watch any of them for a whole hour but the great thing about seeing it online is that I can come and go, and because there are several different cameras I get different views, all of them probably better than I would get from watching the plinth from the ground in Trafalgar Square.

Incidentally, Jennyta, there often is sound from people on the plinth.

The other day I chanced upon an old acquaintance of mine who was live broadcasting to BBC Radio York from the top of the plinth - I could hear every word he said, both those for the radio audience and the things he said to the studio whilst they were playing pre-recorded interviews.

7:55 pm  

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