The empty fourth plinth


Over the past 100 days, for every hour, a person has stood on the Fourth Plinth. They've come from all sections of society and have either been championing some cause or merely following some desire to become a 'living' statue. They've become a lasting memorial to the diverse nature of the British society but failed to move from the project from the ordinary to extraordinary.

Coming next to the Plinth is a fibreglass statue of Sir Keith Park, the RAF hero from World War Two (an actual statue of him will be erected in Waterloo Place in London in 2010). After him will come Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, in a bottle. The plinth and Trafalgar Square should be put out of it's misery of suffering at the hand of some high minded arty elite as yet another pointless and insipid piece of modern art is foisted upon us. It should be used as was originally intended, or for a statue that has equal merit on residing there along with Nelson et al.

The major question that was raised by this project was: was it art? The Fourth Plinth, as the politically conceived concept that it is, has a primary use of the installation of modern art. Gormley's project was consumed by the daily, mundane life of the Square. Gormley's previous work with figures in London, Event Horizon, was a huge success with the life size figures imposing themselves on both the skyline and life of London as something out of the ordinary. Whereas the scale of those upon the plinth in comparison to the Square and it's buildings meant that they were overwhelmed. The 2,400 human statues will swiftly become a footnote in the Square's history.

Roll on the next installation. Shame on the Mayor for not making it permanent.