Naked on the Fourth Plinth

In London’s famous Trafalgar Square there are a set of plinths with sculptures on them, there is also another plinth – known as the fourth plinth – which doesn’t have anything permanent on it.

Jimmy and Granddad visit Alnwick GardensThis fourth plinth has, in recent years, been used to host all sorts of art projects and installations.

The installation that gained, probably, the most public interest was Anthony Gormley’s One & Other.

In this project people were invited to apply for a sixty minute slot on the fourth plinth. The intention was to “create a collective portrait of humanity”, this translated into people doing all sorts of things for their sixty minutes of fame. Many people chose to carry plaques with a message on them others performed an activity, all of them were videoed.

The people who gained the most fame were, not surprisingly, the people who chose to spend some, or all, of their time naked.

I sometimes ask myself the question when I’m posting something to Twitter or Facebook or even this blog:

If I were stood naked on the fourth plinth and the whole of London were watching would I still be comfortable saying this?

There are a lot of people who could do with a similar checkpoint before they write and post.

(The reality of posting to Twitter or Facebook (or any other ‘social’ site) is actually a whole lot scarier than standing on the fourth plinth with a plaque but for some reason the scariness doesn’t translate into caution)

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