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NOT THE OTHER

Tag: insight

One and Only

But is it Art?

One & Other was a public art project by Antony Gormley, in which 2,400 members of the public occupied the usually vacant fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, for an hour each for 100 days. The project began at 9 am on Monday 6 July 2009, and ran until 14 October. The first person to officially occupy the plinth was Rachel Wardell from Lincolnshire. A documentary art book by Gormley, entitled One and Other, was published in the UK by Jonathan Cape on 14 October 2010. The Wellcome Trust has posted online at its website its series of oral-history interviews of the 2400 plinthers.

Passing by

The project was opened by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Minutes before the official launch Stuart Holmes, an anti-smoking protester, managed to clamber onto the plinth and displayed a banner calling for a ban on tobacco. Gormley urged him to do the “gentlemanly thing” and give up his place to the first official “plinther”, Rachel Wardell. He did so and descended in the cherry picker used to carry participants to and from the plinth.

Change of the guard

Members of the public could apply for an hour on the plinth via the project’s website. Gormley himself applied but didn’t get a place. Reviewing the event afterwards, the Guardian’s top ten “plinthers” were:

Name Performance
Gerald Chong Demolished a cardboard replica of the London skyline, dressed as Godzilla.
Amanda Hall Constructed a full-size Gormley-style human figure from bread products.
Ollie Campbell Pitched a tent, from which a live chicken and two blow-up dolls emerged.
Steve Cousins (The Balloonatic) Performed in a red catsuit with a large, red balloon.
Sam Martin Dressed as a football referee, Martin challenged members of the public and announced half-time.
Jonathan May-Bowles (Jonnie Marbles) Invited members of the public to text their secrets to him, which were then read aloud.
Neil Studd Dressed as a living statue of Lord Nelson, in an echo of Nelson’s Column.
Liz Crow Sat in a wheelchair wearing a Nazi military uniform, as a political statement on the rights of disabled people.
Susanna Meese-Simpson Posed naked as if for a life study.
Paul Speller Performed a succession of scientific experiments submitted by the public, including an experiment with a tin can telephone.

Plinth Concept

On 14 July at 8.00 pm, poet R. N. Taber read a selection of his poems, while photographer Alex Boyd collaborated with Scottish Makar (Poet Laureate) Edwin Morgan for his time on the plinth. On 12 August at 1 am, a naked plinther was asked to cover up by the police.

Monique-Speksnyderon-on-t-002

Streamed live online by SkyArts, the exhibit quickly developed a cadre of regular Twitter followers who provided a running commentary of events on the plinth.

Balloon Man

 

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THE BELL JAR

Sylvia Reading

The Bell Jar is American writer and poet Sylvia Plath’s only novel, which was originally published under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas” in 1963. The novel is semi-autobiographical with the names of places and people changed. The book is often regarded as a roman à clef, with the protagonist’s descent into mental illness paralleling Plath’s own experiences with what may have been clinical depression. Plath committed suicide a month after its first UK publication. The novel was published under Plath’s name for the first time in 1967 and was not published in the United States until 1971, pursuant to the wishes of Plath’s mother and her husband Ted Hughes.

Victoria,

The Bell Jar addresses the question of socially acceptable identity. It examines Esther Greenwood, a young woman from the suburbs of Boston’s, “quest to forge her own identity, to be herself rather than what others expect her to be”. Esther is expected to become a housewife, and a self-sufficient woman, without the options to achieve independence. Esther feels she is a prisoner to domestic duties and she fears the loss of her inner self. The Bell Jar sets out to highlight the problems with oppressive patriarchal society in mid-20th Century America. The men in Esther’s life are all oppressive, whether it is in a physical manner or an emotional one.

SP

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