Friday, September 11, 2009

One & Other

A co-worker introduced me a few months ago to an art project going on at Trafalgar Square in London called One & Other. The project, the brainchild of renowned sculpture artist Antony Gormley, involves everyday people picked at random to stand upon one of four plinths for one hour. Different people will take turns standing on the plinth (the fourth plinth, which does not have a statue on it) for 24 hours a day/7 days a week over a period of 100 days. A website is dedicated to the project where you can watch a live feed of the various randomly selected “plinthers” and their activities atop the fourth plinth. Admittedly, I’ve become addicted to tuning into this website and checking up on the plinthers every now and then to see what they’re up to. Some people just sit there and enjoy the view or surf the Internet on their laptops, while others rally for various causes or things they’re passionate about, but there is no limit to what a person can do while up there. One of my favorites was an hour late evening on a Friday night where the plinther, a girl in a silver-sequined dress with a small CD player, danced the whole time to her favorite tunes. Critics of the project say that it is not art and the plinthers are uninteresting, but, personally, I really like it. It’s difficult for me to put into words why exactly – maybe it’s that it is so distinctly human and it allows so many people (2400 total once the project is completed) to take part.

Gormley is a fantastic artist known for installations in natural environments and public spaces. For example, “Another Place” is a very effecting installation of 100 body form sculptures on Crosby Beach near Liverpool (see it here). He’s also used some interesting materials to construct his pieces, such as white bread slices for his work “Bed” (see it here). Here are some excellent websites and articles about Gormley’s works and artistry:

About One & Other
More about the project including a video of Gormley explaining the project

Flickr: One & Other
Pictures of the plinthers during their hour on the plinth

One & Other
This is the website to the One & Other project where you can watch the current plinther live from the plinth, view profiles of the plinters, and much more.

One & Other: Highlights
See each week's plinther highlights

SlowTV: Antony Gormley
Video in which Gormley discusses his work

Tate: Antony Gormley
This is one of the most well done websites I’ve ever seen complete with images from every angle and audio and video commentary on four of Gormley’s major works.

Too Human to Put on a Pedestal
*Requires an Austin Public Library card
Article from the London Times criticizing the project’s result. Use FindIt Plus to search several of our most popular databases at once including FindIt, the library catalog. This is a great way to find newspaper, magazine, and journal articles on people, such as Antony Gormley, current events and much more.

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