Inserting Yourself in Art

Is there a better way to capture the essence of art than to insert yourself in it? This is exactly what Antony Gormley is trying to do with an empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. But do you think it will resonate more to the exhibitionists balancing on top of the monument or to the gawkers walking by?

Antony Gormley's One & Other

Antony Gormley’s fourth plinth commission is built around volunteers from the public. Photograph: PR

The fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, was built in 1841 to carry an equestrian statue of King William IV but the money ran out. Since then there has been much discussion – and no agreement – about what to put permanently on top of it. The latest idea, from artist Antony Gormley, is to let 2,400 people stand on it for one hour each, 24 hours a day, for 100 days. “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,” Gormley says.

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