Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I’ve been watching a living art project, One & Other, which is ongoing in Trafalgar Square in London on the Fourth Plinth. The Fourth Plinth is a pedestal that was meant as a tribute to King William IV. Due to insufficient funds, it has remained empty. Since 1999, the Royal Society of Arts has been commissioning art projects to be displayed on the plinth.

This project by sculptor Antony Gormley, will offer the space, currently in its third week, to a different person to occupy the Fourth Plinth every hour, 24 hours a day for 100 days without a break, to make the Plinth their own. The website streams each hour and provides some insight into the Plinther. I’ve seen a robot, an Elvis impersonator, a house cleaner, protesters, readers, writers, singers, photographers, artists, crowd pleasers/teasers/taunters, and boring people. This got me thinking.

If given one hour to do anything I want on an eight meter pedestal for the world to see, what would it be? Also, I’ve been contemplating the title, One & Other, since it seems simple to understand, but after glimpsing a few of the Plinthers, an interesting pairing of words.

The action of allowing unfettered access to Matt Hawk for one hour seems ludicrous. I don’t want that kind of access to myself, let alone giving myself away this vulnerable situation. I’ve written my obituary on several occasions in college as a writing exercise, and been asked to contemplate my legacy from the pulpit on a Sunday morning. These acts seem ridiculous to me, but the one I would prefer is standing on the plinth. It would be a true and undeniable representation of me. I would perform a day in the life.

More interesting to me is the title of the project, One & Other.
1) It neatly describes the concept of the project
2) It separates each plinther
3) Its a play on words that brings each Plinther and observers together

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