this too
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
  Alison and Horatio



Weeks after its unveiling, and although I work just up the road, I only got to see the much discussed new statue in Trafalgar Square last weekend. Ready to love this work for showing a disabled woman naked, pregnant and beautiful, even if it wasn’t great art, I found her grave and entrancing. She’s measured up, I think, to the monumental backdrop, settled in. The pigeons think so too, lighting on her back like tattoos, on her hair like ribbons. I like this very much.



Tamar's just words have been much in my mind today. In this context, the decision to put this tribute to a beautiful, brave, creative woman up there alongside Trafalgar Square's monuments to military might does give me a little bit of hope.

 
Comments:
The Lapper statue strikes me as overwhelmingly quixotic, which is of course (oddly) appropriate to Trafalgar Square.
 
And beautiful.
 
I read about this monument some time back. Interesting to run into it here. I find the choice odd as a public statue, but imagining it among the military monuments and taking the place of what was to be yet another ubiquitous equestrian statue I find myself smiling. Joyfully! In all her feminine, maternal softness and her physical handicap, albeit with personal fortitude - it just seems so oppositional! Thanks for posting this, Jean.
 
She is so beautiful... truly.
 
Dale, I don't regard quixotic as a pejorative adjective and I don't suppose you do either, but I wonder why you find the statue quixotic? It's a large realistic representation of an unusual, admirable person. Apart from the fact that it's a woman and she's disabled, isn't this a very conventional and unsurprising type of statue for a public place?
 
A perfect fit to my post, Jean! Thank you.
 
FANTASTIC picsw jean> Thank you! I have wanted to see this so much and couldn't imagine a better eye to see it through.
By the way what IS the Bartoli disc like? haven't got it yet...and well done for getting the last tickets.
 
Why quixotic? Well, 1) because it's a nude but a real living person, 2) because it celebrates pregnancy without an implicit Christ child, 3) because it presents a disability without pathos.

It's violating lots of conventions, in other words, but it's also appropriating the monumental style and place, demanding to be taken seriously by the same people who make an icon of Lord Nelson. It's that demand that strikes me as quixotic.
 
It's baldly realistic, a needed - not just counterpoint - but counterbalance - to the rest of the square.
 
What Dale said!
 
Jean, your photos and your words continue to amaze and inspire. I especially love the one from the back, with the pigeon "tattoo" and "hairbow."
 
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