“This is not about privilege, not about power, not about war or honoring the dead,” said the artist, Antony Gormley. “It’s about celebrating the living.”
London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, had a different take: “It’s a triumphant meditation on the themes of fame and glory,” he declared. “My friends, someday your plinth will come.”
The idea seems simple, but has been fairly complicated to pull off. More than 17,000 people have applied for the slots, mostly through the Internet, with winners — who have to be over 16 and living in Britain — selected by a computer algorithm that accounts for geographical diversity. The slots for September and October have yet to be filled. […]
They can even take their clothes off. “Nakedness is absolutely essential,” Mr. Gormley said in an interview. “Nakedness is to art what the ball is to football.”
How about sex? “No sex up there,” he decreed. “Sex after art.”
If plinthers miss their slots, substitutes take over, as they would at an airline check-in desk. It is unclear what happens if anyone suddenly needs to go to the bathroom.