Thursday, 23 July 2009

This, That and the Other

As many of you will be aware, there is an empty fourth plinth in Uncle Square.

No doubt, at some point the citizens of Homeward will demand that it be filled with another statue of myself - but at the moment it is used for a rotating series of sculptural creations.

I am a great advocate of democracy, but I must admit that I had my doubts when the great artist Waldovenison Smeare suggested that, rather than creating another artwork to fill the space, he intended to fill it with a changing guard of members of the public.

Each of them would spend an hour on the plinth over the 100 days of its existence. He has called this participant piece of work 'This, That & the Other'.

I knew that this revolution of inclusivity, this misguided populism, would lead to trouble and I was not wrong. It is attracting people who are simply interested in making an exhibition of themselves.

It started well enough. Will Shudder read a beautiful poem entitled 'An Ode to Uncle'.

But, then we had Noddy Ninety giving a, frankly, rather boring lecture on the virtues of building and running model railways!

This was followed by Jellytussle declaring his manifesto for the Badfort Brotherhood group of painters. He claimed that theirs was the only true art - inspired by the real world, yet taking imaginative licence with their art.

His technique seemed to involve flinging paint at the canvas and hoping it would stick!

For his hour, Butterskin Mute seemed to have decided that this was too good a business opportunity to waste. He spent the whole time extolling the virtues of his organic produce. He had even brought a watermelon tree with him and threw the fruit out to the gathering hordes!

It came as no surprise that Beaver Hateman saw this as a chance to harangue the crowd with vitriolic propaganda against myself. I cannot believe that I am actually being expected to fund this 'art' event that is clearly being used by certain miscreants as social engineering!

Most art - and certainly the greatest examples - is private and exclusive, created by elite professionals for an audience of amateurs. That is why I thought that I would spend my hour, in an attempt to educate the masses, performing a rendition of some of my favourite cello pieces.

Beaver, Hitmouse and Hootman had set up themselves up as a 'judges panel' with a big sign over their desk that said 'Homeward's Got Talent'. As soon as I started playing they pressed their buzzers, began booing and shouted at me to get off the plinth!

Orchestrated thus, by the malevolent forces of Badfort, the crowd turned against me and I could hardly get to the end of Quasi Scherzando.

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