Monday, April 05, 2010

The Offal Tower

OK, that's not the headline that The Guardian chose, but here's me writing in The Guardian's Comment is Free section:

At the unveiling of Anish Kapoor's design for the Orbit tower it was compared to the Colossus of Rhodes and the Tower of Babel. But the history of those follies isn't auspicious. The Colossus of Rhodes was destroyed by an earthquake after standing for only a few decades, and the Tower of Babel was, the book of Genesis tells us, constructed to glorify those that constructed it.

I can't help wondering to what extent the ArcelorMittal Orbit is being built for the glory of Boris Johnson, Kapoor and Lakshmi Mittal. And as details emerge of its Olympic corporate entertainment role, it looks less and less like a work of art. But setting the motivation of the creators aside, the worst comparison of all is with the Eiffel Tower.

The rest is here

1 comment:

Vinny Burgoo said...

Someone has described the tower as a 'shat-out Tatlin', which it is, both visually and intellectually, but as always with Kapoor it's also a gigantic twat. Kapoor is obsessed with colossal yonis, or, as he coyly puts it, he's 'interested in antiphallic form'.

This particular 'trumpet' (the art world's even more coy euphemism) is clearly unhealthy. It's mangled, bits are dropping off it and a contraceptive diaphragm has become dangerously displaced. A comment on the reproductive health of female athletes? Apparently not. Kapoor:

'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.'