As I’m writing this it’s raining. Actually, it’s pouring. And the poor guy who is just being lifted onto the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square is going to get very wet (although, to be fair, he’s brought an umbrella with him).
To anyone not familiar with this extraordinary happening (I’m not sure what other word to use) should either head down to Traflagar Square or – given the weather! – log onto: www.oneandother.co.uk
It says a great deal about the British sense of self-awareness and openness. This is an open, public, space which is being celebrated as a piece of art – or: a piece of art being celebrated as a public, open space. People, Londoners, whoever they are, are ferried onto the Plinth – prized for major pieces of public art. (The other three plinths have statues of major military figures.) A willingness to perform in front of crowds (not today, obviously), to be pilloried, laughed at, or just gawped-at. A diversity and openness which is not forced or false. Like the childish innocence of dancing or drawing without any concern of one’s audience.
It’s difficult to think of a more conventional cultural equivalent or offering.