Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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The Fourth Plinth

What the hell is a plinth? I didn't know either, until I came across THIS article in the Guardian newspaper in Britain. It defines a plinth as "an architectural setting for sculpture that distinguishes it from the surrounding world, defines it as 'art,' ennobles and elevates it."

I found that article after reading THIS article in another British newspaper, The Independent. In said article, a critic blasts the latest artwork to appear on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth as "catastrophically boring."

Let's backtrack a little. Set in the NW corner of London's Trafalgar Square, the FOURTH PLINTH was originally intended as the base for some sort of equestrian statue that I'm not sure ever materialized. It is currently reserved for a statue of Queen Elizabeth II to be commissioned after she dies. For a long time, the Fourth Plinth stood empty. But, in the not too distant past, someone came up with the idea of using the plinth to showcase a series of public artworks. HERE you can see a couple of the more recent plinth-fillers.

Anyway, a few days ago, the latest plinth project got underway. It's called ONE & OTHER and is the brainchild of a sculptor named Antony Gormley. It's quite brilliant, really, because Gormely didn't actually have to sculpt anything. He just came up with the idea to let ordinary people get up on the plinth and do whatever they want. So, for a 100 day period that ends sometime in October, 2400 people will each have the Fourth Plinth to themselves for one hour at a time. For 24 hours a day, there will always be someone on the plinth, doing whatever the hell he or she wants. As I write this, there's a guy in business clothes standing up there with his bicycle.

If you'd like to see what's going on on the Fourth Plinth right now, click HERE.

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