One and Other | 4th Plinth | The State of the Nation



I happened across the Anthony Gormley ‘piece’ in London’s Trafalgar Square today: ‘One and Other.’ The idea is presented on a plaque:


There is a live stream of what is going on at any one time here. Here (19:15 on 15th July) we see a woman dressed up as a lollipop lady waving at people:


The concept is to give a platform to Britain. And, in a way, Gormley has succeeded, though perhaps – in my perception – not in the way he might have imagined. The Britain that is showcased is one obsessed by health and safety (safety nets: check, emergency lighting: check); one obsessed with security (permanent bored guard: check):


And finally, it is a country with fine ideas, which end up as people talking loudly into the wind and saying precisely nothing. Lollipop ladies waving at the meagre crowds. People throwing oranges up to a man who sat in a folding chair.


Yes, I found this a boring and rather sad piece. All style, and so little substance. A great idea, spoilt by the over-safe execution. All streamed live on Sky Arts. How depressing. If you have a couple of hours in London, far better to see the quite wonderful Richard Long exhibition at Tate Britain.