Jonathan Jones takes exception with those who insist that One and the Other, Anthony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth art project that involves ordinary Britons–randomly chosen–spending an hour doing whatever they please high above Trafalgar Square, is litmus test of one’s cultural politics. He feels that one can be culturally astute and still not like what Gormley has done there:
The less you look at contemporary art, the more unfamiliar you are with its language and its capacities, and the more likely you are to submit to this second-rate artist’s self-serving rhetoric. The point about Antony Gormley is that he went to a top university and can talk to the educated classes in their own tongue. But One and Other does not walk the walk. It is a sad, feeble, ineffectual excuse for a public sculpture. All this talk about it existing in its full reality only on TV or the internet or wherever is nonsense. This is a physical work of art that involves people standing on a plinth. And the truth that some of us can’t help noticing, however much we are lectured otherwise, is that they look stupid up there.
The Fourth Plinth: A Monument to Bad Art (Jonathan Jones/The Guardian)