The Fourth Plinth

The Fourth Plinth* as a concept

Hahn / Cock by Katharina Fritsch, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square

From London.Gov.UK

This is the sort of thing that delights me. The three original plinths hold up historical tradition, providing us all a misguided sense of solid footing in the world. They also give us permission to accept the fourth plinth as a living symbol of constant change and broader perspective on a beautiful, chaotic trajectory born of multiple creative minds. Not to mention the word “plinth” is delicious.

I love that democratization of art exists on some level, and although nothing is completely democratic, this project comes close. Art at its best invites us outside our own boundaries to love, hate or merely experience something beyond our ordinary frame of reference.

In One & Other for instance, the installation consisted of members of the public signing up to occupy the column for the period of one hour each over the period of 2,400 hours. The artist responsible for the installation, Antony Gormley, had applied for a spot for himself but unfortunately did not get a place. My favorite idea was the time-slot occupied by Jonathan May-Bowles who asked members of the public to text him a secret which he then read aloud. A simple yet startling reflection of who we are as a society in this moment of time: voyeuristic, public, connected and yet somehow estranged from one another.

For pictures of the fourth plinth current and prior exhibits, you can checkout the images linked to Fourth Plinth .

* From Wikkipedia: “The Fourth Plinth is a plinth in Trafalgar Square in central London. It was originally intended to hold an equestrian statue of William IV, but remained bare due to insufficient funds. For over 150 years the fate of the plinth was debated; in 1999, a sequence of three contemporary artworks to be displayed on the plinth were announced. The success of this initiative led to a commission being formed to decide on a use for the plinth. Eventually that commission unanimously decided to continue using it for the temporary display of artworks.

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