a Tatlin for our times? – London takes its public art very seriously

London’s Lord Mayor Boris Johnson announces Anish Kapoor’s sculpture ArcelorMittal Orbit, to be built in time for the Olympic Games. (See The Guardian video here). Apparently funded by Britain’s wealthiest individual, its title advertising his business identity, its 21st century character could hardly be further from Vladimir Tatlin’s dream of nearly a century ago.  Why Tatlin? His proposed Monument to the IIIrd International was far more ambitious, and despite its impossible futurism, given the technology available to him, there’s an echo here in form and structure, yes? And yes, I have nothing against an art which pays homage to its antecedents… If indeed, that is the case…

The Independent’s Jay Merrick says “It’s anti-bling, and its brusque form will be either loved or hated.” How very English. It’s an unfortunate choice of words, unless anti-bling means pro-spin? Either way, there’s an art-hyperbole thesis in it for somebody… And what will ArcelorMittal Orbit be saying in 95 years time?

Here’s a relevant post on another blog – and I’m sure there will be more! See Kapoor on the BBCTom Dyckhoff. Farah Nayeri. Someone who calls themselves “live toad”.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 max on 04.14.10 at 6:04 pm

Jesus Christ!! Everybody involved in this has lost their minds. (And you think Canberra is bad.) Quote: Kapoor called it “the commission of a lifetime”. He said he and Balmond were referencing the Tower of Babel and trying to convey a sense of instability and a tower that could be viewed differently from different parts of the city. “It is an object that needs a journey, a journey around the object but also up and through the object. It needs real participation and engagement.”

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