Thursday, 31 May 2007


Strolling through the Southbank yesterday starting spotting the Gormley sculptures standing looking towards the exhibition. Lots of interest on the street and photographers crawling all over the place.

Reviews haven't been good though - Brian Sewell (Standard) and Laura Coming in the Guardian both spoke of his mega-ego, repetativeness and laziness (churning out same old same old).

I think the gorms standing on buildings around the southbank register with public because they are recognisable, and designed to be spotted. People like a little challenge (i.e. they like to feel they have risen to the challenge - so it shouldn't be too hard to get). It reminded me sort of the opening credits of Prisoner where it sort of spun around looking for who was watching you. Popular because of its ability mimic popular culture. The men are all watching the Hayward Gallery (because thats where the exhibition is, stupid). Pointing in the direction you should be going. Boyfiend said they looked like they were about to commit suicide. I haven't yet been to the exhibition but I do quite like his sculptures that are in the public domain - you come across them periodically leaning head to head through a huge plate glass window or leaning on a building's wall in Hoxton. We are surrounded by public art which has little impact on us as we pass in a bus or walk from the tube to a restuaruant. Better these than the old graniose statues of soldiers standing severely on plinths. These are the kinds of objects that you start to have a relationship with just because of familiarity. This is presumably why people campaigned to keep the ones on the Crosby coast - little pieces of everyday art that they like because of their familiarity. They work in situ placed on a human level, unnecessary to be intellectualised or charged with the artist's bullshit in order to be understood. Popular art. Not ever considered good by the establishment but popular with the populace. Perhaps the critics would like it better if he didn't try to put some greater, deeper meaning to it all.

I quite like the men standing on all the buildings, across the river, far and wide. I like them as well as I like the crowd of people in Broadgate, that tricked the boyfriend the first time he saw them (momentarily thought they were real), and the videodrome style floor of one fo the courtyards, or the big steel pod-like thing I see off the number 12 as it comes round the roundabout onto Westminster Bridge (never been close enough to find out who made it or what its called). They make the urban landscape more interesting and lively. But it isn't great art in the sense that you have a real emotional reaction to it.

Flickr photostream of some of the gorms.

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