From Antony Gormley, Plinth Power

Model for Hotel 2007
Model for Hotel 2007 Wikimedia Commons

Artist Thomas Schuette's Fourth Plinth project "Model for Hotel 2007"

I’ve never seen any of the works in person while they were up, but I have a soft spot for the Fourth Plinth of Trafalgar Square all the way over in London. Some critics grouse that the works that adorn the column always fall short in someway, but it gets contemporary art out in public in a very well known venue, so quit the whining.

There have been several sculptures put up since it started in 1999. Mark Wallinger produced a life-size sculpture of a man that ended up looking miniscule in comparison to the height of the plinth. Rachel Whitehead made a cast of the plinth and inverted it on top of the column. Marc Quinn carved a marble bust of the torso of Alison Lapper, an artist born without arms who was pregnant at the time.

The latest evolution comes from Antony Gormley, and is set to take the stage in November. The artist will put a giant soapbox on top of the plinth and allow people to climb up (actually, they’ll get carried up by crane) and chat, rant or rave about whatever they like to the visitors of the square for one uninterrupted hour. The performers chosen must first apply online; so far I haven’t found where, but my hope is that the applications and the project itself will stream live so that those of us on the other side of the pond can finally get a front row viewing.

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