Saturday, 4 July 2009

“I, Plinthian!”

So it is that some of us have found ourselves to be figments of Antony Gormley’s rich imagination; fragments of an artwork that will be 100 days in the making, whilst simultaneously being dismantled hour by hour.

We ‘others’ seem to be akin to mercury, as we begin to find each other here on the internet; scattered on blogs and ‘Tweets’ and status updates. The mood of those chosen seems to reflect a blend of delighted, terrified and confused. On Facebook and Twitter we encounter each other – easily recognising ourselves by our common call “What shall I do with my hour on the Plinth?”.

Some of us made contact and eventually, a Facebook Group entitled ‘I, Plinthian’was created in order to have a place where we could share the experience, with those who could understand, inspire and empathise.

Aside from the discussions about how to spend the hour, one thread was entitled ‘How do you feel?’ and has proved to be (for me) the place where our art’s heart beats. I wonder at Mr Gormley’s thoughts as our ‘creator’ and ponder whether he is finding it surreal that his art talks amongst itself?

Excerpts from the thread include:

“This is so strange, I am excited and terrified at the same time!!! Today, I can't believe that I did a live interview on BBC Radio WM yesterday morning, I will be raising Lupus Awareness with my hour, all very surreal, can not believe the interest. I am trying to convince myself that going on "the plinth" will be a doddle after another 40 days planning it!!”
Kay Lockley - July 26th 7pm-8 pm

“I keep veering between 'aaaargghh!! I CAN'T do it' and 'Oooo! I've got a place and “I'm so excited I want to tell everyone!!'. I keep imagining the height of the plinth too and I'm going to measure out the surface area of the top at the weekend so I can get a feel for just what 1.7 x 4.4m feels like. I'm feeling quite well organised (so I must be missing something ...????): have booked my hotel, got my train ticket, sweet talked someone into providing me with some boards on which to put my message (and the wonderful man offered to print them on for me as well!). Now I'm on to 'how many outfits to take' just in case it snows etc.”
Barbara Harrison – July 19th 2pm-3pm

“I think everyone can agree that this is defiantly a... bizzarr experience. I go through the day with a fluxing dread about it, I can't make up my mind about whether I'm happy about it, or the desperate urge to just run away form the whole thing. I only applied because I had been studying Gormley's works this year for my A-levels and I was soaking up all Gormleyesque things, I had no idea I would be allocated a place.
I'm only 17, and I see all these wonderful people planning on doing such extraordinary things with their time, and I can't help feel small and silly in comparison.”
Hannah Wilson – July 30th 1am-2am

“Yep, I'm pretty much feeling the same as everyone else here - excitement coupled with gut wrenching fear just about covers it. Oh well, it's nice to know I'm not alone.
I've been wracking my brains and I've still not settled on a definite plan for my hour, that's if I go with a plan at all. My dad told me I should take some flat-pack furniture up there and make myself useful! I don't think so. My only totally definite plan so far is to enjoy the 60 minutes to the fullest, whatever happens. By the way, getting to the Welcome Centre 90 minutes before to be processed and 'interviewed'? Now that's scary!!”
Robert Walker – July 10th 8am-9am

“I'm so glad you're all feeling the same. I wake up and remember - aargh! I think about it constantly. I also feel small and silly (I am small!) however, I've known what I'm doing from the start - sing the Mozart Requiem - and that's never changed. The technical aspects have not sorted themselves out, so I'm just going to go up with a CD player and sing - no mics or anything. Good luck to everyone. Will we all meet up sometime somewhere? Will we meet Anthony Gormley?”
Janis Raishbrook – July 12th 5-6 am

“Hi everyone - feeling quite excited - worried my hands will shake and I will find it difficult to do my 'thing' which is: Turning on my bubble machine, blowing up my balloons, lighting them up, attaching messages, ribbons and bells, getting them over the safety net and hoping people will want them and take them, and hoping what I've got to say has some positive effect on somebody! Still testing all this - and getting a back up plan together in case it fails or rains or we have a hurricane!”
Kim Claus Franklin – July 19th 11pm-midnight

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse at the humans, who amidst 2400, will be the artwork ‘One & Other’. I believe we are each already a unique work of art and when put together, have the capacity to become something unforeseen, unpredictable and entirely lovely.

If you haven’t applied for your place on the plinth, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is a strange, all-consuming, yet satisfying experience.

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