a tale of a few cities

Jennifer Allora, Guillermo Calzadilla, Untitled (ATM/Organ)

Posted in Uncategorized by petercombe on August 19, 2010

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s Fourth Plinth submission needs to win. With an ATM at its base,  a cacophony of sound is heard throughout Trafalgar Square when the machine is in use. The artists’ concept is worthy to induce that particular cognitive experience known as the British sense of humor, all the while recognizing Britain’s rich theological history and the financial centrality of London.

Untitled (ATM/Organ) consists of installing an automated teller machine (ATM) in the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, connected to a functioning pipe organ which will produce sound by driving pressurised air through pipes selected via the ATM machine keyboard.

Each time customers press the ATM keyboard to access bank accounts worldwide to make cash withdrawals, credit card cash advances, account balance inquiries and so on, it will trigger the pipe organ to produce a range of notes and chords at varying degrees of loudness which will reverberate throughout Trafalgar Square.

Artist biographies

Jennifer Allora, born in 1974 Philadelphia, USA and Guillermo Calzadilla born in 1971 in Havana, Cuba, live and work in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Through sculpture, photography, performance, sound and video, their work explores mark making, traces, survival and the relationship between the human and the animal. Most recently, they have created a series of works that explore the interplay between militarism and sound in the context of today’s global state of war.

They have had solo shows at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2007), Serpentine Gallery (2007), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008), Haus der Kunst München, Munich (2008) and the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin (2009) and have a forthcoming exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, London, UK in 2011.

Untitled (ATM/Organ)>

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Porn Star Hits The Plinth

Posted in Art, London, performance art by petercombe on September 27, 2009

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‘Antony Gormley’s 100-day public art undertaking, One and Other, reached a pinnacle Monday when a lap dancer spent an hour dancing and shaking in central London, causing the project’s Web site, complete with live feed, to collapse temporarily. Beginning in July, the famed sculptor asked Brits to help create a living monument at Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth, a space normally reserved for statues, but which often hosts public stunts. Gromley hoped participants (selected via online submissions) would stand on the plinth for an hour, presenting an image of themselves and a representation of humanity at large. Monday’s star, Naomi McDonald, a professional London lap dancer, spent her allotted hour, beginning at noon, in heels and underwear, posing with a pole and shaking her breasts at onlookers. She closed her time on the plinth with a pole-dance to “It’s Raining Men”—much to the delight of passersby who kept their cameras flashing. McDonald was not arrested since it is not a crime to be naked in public, and despite numerous comments via Twitter about the display, police did not intervene.’

Read it at The Guardian

One and Other Gets Serious

Posted in Art, iustitia omnibus by petercombe on September 12, 2009

A British woman who is on death row in Texas will today appeal to the British government to help her avoid execution via Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth>.

4thPlinth

Linda Carty, a 50-year-old former primary school teacher, was sentenced to death in 2002 after being convicted of taking part in the murder of 25-year-old Joana Rodriguez.

Her family and campaigners claim she was not properly represented at her original trial and that she is innocent of the crime for which she was convicted.

Carty will “appear” on the London monument as part of the artist Antony Gormley’s One & Other Exhibition, using the platform to call on the British public and the government to intervene to help save her from lethal injection.

A life-sized cardboard cutout of her will stand on the platform from 10am until 11am, and a recorded message from her will also be played.

In the message, she says: “Time is now running out, and I appeal to every one of you and to the British government to please help me.

“I’m sorry if I sound like a desperate woman. I am desperate, because the British people may be my last hope. If they ask for my life to be spared, maybe Texas will listen.”

Earlier this year, the Foreign Office intervened in the legal process, filing an amicus brief to the US appeals court which complained of lack of notification of Carty’s original arrest in 2001 and “ineffective counsel”.

Carty was born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts to parents from the British overseas territory of Anguilla. She holds a UK dependent territory passport.

As such, her arrest should have been notified to the British embassy under a long-standing agreement.

However, her state-appointed lawyer did not inform her of her right to seek assistance from the British consulate – one of a catalogue of errors, supporters claim.

The crime took place on 16 May 2001, when three men broke into the apartment of [25-year-old Joana] Rodriguez and her partner Raymundo Cabrera, demanding drugs and cash. They abducted Rodriguez and her four-day-old son, Ray, who was later found unharmed in a car, while Rodriguez had suffocated.

The prosecution’s rather implausible theory was that Linda was afraid of losing her common-law husband and thought that if she had another baby he would stay. Unable to get pregnant, they allege she had hired three men to kidnap Rodriguez and that she planned to steal the child – a baby of a different race to Linda.

Linda’s court-appointed lawyer was Jerry Guerinot, whose incompetence has already led to twenty of his clients ending up on death row, more than any other defence lawyer in the US. His approach to her case was at best, slapdash, at worst, wilfully inept.

Guerinot’s catalogue of serious failings in Linda’s case includes: failure to meet Linda until immediately before the trial, failure to inform Linda or her husband of their rights; failure to spot obvious flaws and inconsistencies in the prosecution case; failure to interview witnesses; and failure to investigate key mitigating evidence.

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