Imperial College London students kick off about ‘phallic’ statue by Angle of the North sculptor

Posted By Foster | Section: International News
  • Share
The sculpture, by artist Antony Gormley, is named 'Alert' and is made up of stacked steel blocks meant to resemble a person squatting down


University students are kicking off about a new ‘phallic’ sculpture at Imperial College London which they claim looks like a man exposing himself and would offend female students. 

The sculpture, a six-metre-high stack of cantilevered steel blocks, by artist Antony Gormley, is due to be placed in the university’s newly built Dangoor Plaza in South Kensington.

It is named ‘Alert’ is meant to resemble a person squatting down. But students believe that if you look at the sculpture from a certain angle then you can see a figure that appears to have a three-metre-long erect penis, nearly half the height of the whole statue.

Sir Anthony said when it was announced that his work would be installed that it is of a person ‘balancing on the balls of the feet while squatting on its haunches’.

The sculpture, by artist Antony Gormley, is named 'Alert' and is made up of stacked steel blocks meant to resemble a person squatting down

The sculpture, by artist Antony Gormley, is named ‘Alert’ and is made up of stacked steel blocks meant to resemble a person squatting down

But students believe that if you look at the sculpture from a certain angle then you can see a figure that appears to have a three-metre-long erect penis, nearly half the height of the whole statue. Pictured: Sculptor Anthony Gormley stands next to his work at his studio following the announcement that he has been awarded the Sculpture Laureate in 2013

But students believe that if you look at the sculpture from a certain angle then you can see a figure that appears to have a three-metre-long erect penis, nearly half the height of the whole statue. Pictured: Sculptor Anthony Gormley stands next to his work at his studio following the announcement that he has been awarded the Sculpture Laureate in 2013

But students believe that if you look at the sculpture from a certain angle then you can see a figure that appears to have a three-metre-long erect penis, nearly half the height of the whole statue. Pictured: Sculptor Anthony Gormley stands next to his work at his studio following the announcement that he has been awarded the Sculpture Laureate in 2013

Angel of the North artist Antony Gormley’s has also made art compared to ‘sex toys’

Yorkshire-born Sir Anthony Gormley, 71, has been creating artistic sculptures since the early 1980s, with his first exhibition coming in 1981.

Many of his pieces focus around the human body, and he has regularly used his own body to create metal casts for his work.

His pieces are often displayed on a huge scale. The most well-known work is the Angel of the North in Gateshead, which originally caused controversy due to it being placed at a former colliery pithead baths back in the 1990s and since has been well loved. 

The most well-known work is the Angel of the North in Gateshead

The most well-known work is the Angel of the North in Gateshead

The most well-known work is the Angel of the North in Gateshead

Standing at 66ft tall, it has a wingspan of 177ft and overlooks the A1 and A167. 

A sculpture by him entitled ‘Doubt’ placed in front of Wells Cathedral in Somerset was branded ‘hideous’.

The cast iron creation was put on the cathedral in February 2021 after businesses raised nearly £2,000 to transport it.

Sir Antony says it is an appropriate place for it because faith sometimes includes feelings of doubt.

But some locals have been left less than thrilled with the metal art, opining it ‘not amongst his better work’.

The cast iron creation was been put at Wells Cathedral in Somerset until February 2023

The cast iron creation was been put at Wells Cathedral in Somerset until February 2023

The cast iron creation was been put at Wells Cathedral in Somerset until February 2023

His sculptures put on an East Suffolk beach last year were also compared to ‘sex toys’. 

And were formally withdrawn in March 2021 following a complaint by the artist Sir Anthony Gormley saying they had been installed at the wrong angle.

The four cast iron sculptures, each measuring up to 4ft long and weighing up to a tonne, Titled ‘Quartet (Sleeping)’, was created in 2001.

They had been installed on Aldeburgh beach by local art collector Caroline Wiseman last August.

Locals had raised concerns that the 3ft pieces, titled Oval, Peg, Penis and Snowman, looked like sex toys, or even rabbit droppings.

Ms Wiseman, who has sold the pieces, described Sir Antony’s intervention as ‘controlling’ and ‘small-minded’ 

A planning application to keep the four cast-iron sculptures, which have been compared to sex toys, was withdrawn last Friday

A planning application to keep the four cast-iron sculptures, which have been compared to sex toys, was withdrawn last Friday

A planning application to keep the four cast-iron sculptures, which have been compared to sex toys, was withdrawn last Friday

And when sculptures by Sir Antony Gormley of his own naked body were put on a Liverpool beach they also courted controversy. 

The 100 life-size body cast-iron figures, which weigh 650kg, are called ‘Another Place’ and are installed on Crosby Beach.

The naked figures, which face towards the River Mersey Estuary, caused considerable controversy when they were first installed but it was decided in 2007 to keep them as a permanent attraction under the ownership of Sefton Council. 

Sculptures by Sir Antony Gormley on a Liverpool beach

Sculptures by Sir Antony Gormley on a Liverpool beach

Sculptures by Sir Antony Gormley on a Liverpool beach

In 2017, students at the University of East Anglia were also furious by a statue of a man on the edge of their library roof.

It was from Gormley’s Event Horizon exhibition of human figures on rooftops and a petition was launched to tear it down. 

The Imperial College London students have also launched a motion to stop the installation, saying it may ‘hurt the image and reputation of the college’.

The student union said: ‘While the artist’s intended form may ‘[evoke our] community of scientific research’ the phallic interpretation does not. The name Alert could also be understood as referring to the statue’s phallus being erect’.

Students claim they were not consulted about the installation and that prior college information about the statue had not shown it from all angles.

The motion to block the statue said: ‘This suggests that this interpretation, and backlash, was not unforeseen by some individuals within the college’.

Students are also worried that having a penis on display may exclude female students who are in the minority at Imperial College. 

Female students made up 41.8 per cent of the full-time student body in the 2020-2021 academic year, according to official statistics. 

Also Read  Jada Pinkett Smith Addresses Will Smith, Chris Rock Oscars Slap for First Time

Alex Auyang, chairman of the union which is based at Silwood Park in Berkshire, and who launched the motion also wrote: ‘Some may consider the male form of the phallic interpretation exclusionary, especially if it is meant to ‘[evoke our] community of scientific research’, which has issues with gender ratio and exclusion.’ 

He also told the Art newspaper: ‘Despite the support within the union, and that the paper has apparently been seen by senior college staff and Gormley’s team, I doubt that it will affect the installation of ALERT. 

‘I think that this is not the sort of thing that the college would pull out of or listen to students about.’

And later when asked by the Times if his motion had been tongue-in-cheek, he said: ‘I think it’s fairly clear that the motion has a sense of humour behind it, but my points stand.’ 

The sculpture was given to Imperial College by alumnus Brahmal Vasudevan, and his wife, Shanthi Kandiah.

Mr Vasudevan said on the gift: ‘I am deeply proud of my connection to Imperial and have fond memories of my time on campus as a student. I share the College’s vision for a vibrant public space, and am proud to bring this iconic, world class piece of art by Antony Gormley to the heart of campus. 

‘The inspiration arose from my idea of bringing about a collaboration between Antony as a leading English artist with this great English university.’

Speaking on the sculpture, Antony Gormley said: ‘Through the conversion of anatomy into an architectural construction I want to re-assess the relation between body and space. 

‘Balancing on the balls of the feet while squatting on its haunches and surveying the world around it the attitude of this sculpture is alive, alert and awake.’ 

An Imperial College London spokesperson said: ‘Sir Antony Gormley is one of the world’s foremost living artists, and we are grateful to have been gifted one of his iconic sculptures.’ 

‘Alert’ is due to be installed as the centrepiece of the campus’s Dangoor Plaza this summer. 

This is not the first time Mr Gormley’s sculptures have provoked controversy. 

The Yorkshire-born artist has been creating sculptures since the early 1980s, with his first exhibition coming in 1981. 

Many of his pieces focus around the human body, and he has regularly used his own body to create metal casts for his work.

His pieces are often displayed on a huge scale. The most well-known work is the Angel of the North in Gateshead, which originally caused controversy due to it being placed at a former colliery pithead baths back in the 1990s and since has been well loved. 

Standing at 66ft tall, it has a wingspan of 177ft and overlooks the A1 and A167.

A sculpture by him entitled ‘Doubt’ placed in front of Wells Cathedral in Somerset has left locals unsure, with one branding it ‘hideous’.

The cast iron creation was put on the cathedral in February 2021 after businesses raised nearly £2,000 to transport it.

Sir Antony says it is an appropriate place for it because faith sometimes includes feelings of doubt.

But some locals have been left less than thrilled with the metal art, opining it ‘not amongst his better work’.

When it was installed, David Pulsford thought it ‘out of place on a cathedral’ while a Twitter user called GlastoHawk simply said ‘hideous’.

The statue has been put onto a specially constructed plinth to make sure it does not damage any of the historic cathedral.

His sculptures put on an East Suffolk beach last year were also compared to ‘sex toys’. 

And were formally withdrawn in March 2021 following a complaint by the artist Sir Anthony Gormley saying they had been installed at the wrong angle.

The four cast iron sculptures, each measuring up to 4ft long and weighing up to a tonne, Titled ‘Quartet (Sleeping)’, was created in 2001.

They had been installed on Aldeburgh beach by local art collector Caroline Wiseman last August.

Locals had raised concerns that the 3ft pieces, titled Oval, Peg, Penis and Snowman, looked like sex toys, or even rabbit droppings.

Ms Wiseman, who has sold the pieces, described Sir Antony’s intervention as ‘controlling’ and ‘small-minded’. 

An Alan Turing sculpture which is set to be constructed at the mathematician’s alma mater was also said to threaten the ‘existing character’ of the Cambridge College, Historic England claimed. 

The 12ft steel structure, designed by Sir Antony Gormley, will commemorate the Second World War code-breaker, who attended King’s College in Cambridge between 1931 and 1934.

A picture of how the proposed work will look when its installed and from different angles as well which has caused controversy

A picture of how the proposed work will look when its installed and from different angles as well which has caused controversy

A picture of how the proposed work will look when its installed and from different angles as well which has caused controversy 

Controversial statues: From a naked feminist to ones that look nothing like famous people 

In 2020, Maggi Hambling’s design, which depicted a nude figure atop a 10ft ‘swirling mingle of female forms’, was unveiled in Newington Green, North London, of Mary Wollstonecraft the mother of feminism. 

Hambling was bombarded with criticism online as feminists asked why the figure atop the £143,000 statue had to be naked, while others complained it looked nothing like Ms Wollstonecraft.

Critics compared the £143,000 sculpture in Newington Green 'to a naked silver Barbie doll'

Critics compared the £143,000 sculpture in Newington Green 'to a naked silver Barbie doll'

Critics compared the £143,000 sculpture in Newington Green ‘to a naked silver Barbie doll’

In 2017, a bizarre statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was mocked all over the world after being installed at Madeira airport. 

Also Read  Meet Elon Musk's new girlfriend: Tesla billionaire, 50, is dating 27-year-old Australian actress

Emanuel Santos, 40, who was the artist who crafted the bronze bust of the footballer ace to mark the renaming of the airport to Cristiano Ronaldo Airport.

The former airport cleaner, who comes from the same Atlantic island as Ronaldo, claimed ‘you can’t please everyone’ as he addressed the ridicule towards the bust.

In 2017, a bizarre statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was mocked all over the world after being installed at Madeira airport

In 2017, a bizarre statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was mocked all over the world after being installed at Madeira airport

In 2017, a bizarre statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was mocked all over the world after being installed at Madeira airport

In 2011, a statue of Andy Murray was made for the tennis ace complete with warrior clothing, although Andy doesn’t appear thrilled by the likeness. 

It was unveiled at the Shanghai Rolex Masters tournament at the Qizhong Tennis Center in Shanghai on October 11. 

In 2011, a statue of Andy Murray was made for the tennis ace complete with warrior clothing, although Andy doesn't appear thrilled by the likeness

In 2011, a statue of Andy Murray was made for the tennis ace complete with warrior clothing, although Andy doesn't appear thrilled by the likeness

In 2011, a statue of Andy Murray was made for the tennis ace complete with warrior clothing, although Andy doesn’t appear thrilled by the likeness

In 2009, Hollywood actress Lucille Ball was honoured with a statue but it was later replaced after being seen as scary by residents. 

Sir Antony’s memorial will look over the chapel at the College in a reminder of Turing’s achievements, but Historic England has warned the statue ‘would be at odds with the existing character of the College.’

The organisation said King’s College ‘comprises a magnificent ensemble of historic buildings frequently depicted in the famous view from the Backs’ and the sculpture would ‘harm its significance’.

It said the proposal would ‘introduce a prominent sculpture into this sensitive scene, in a manner at odds with its character’.

In a new application, submitted to Cambridge City Council in May, King’s College said it is ‘very keen to make some public acknowledgement of Alan Turing and his relationship with the College, the University and the City of Cambridge’.

It said: ‘Given Turing’s huge intellectual importance and his influence on contemporary science and culture, it is very apt that this acknowledgement should be in the form of a sculpture by an internationally admired contemporary artist, whose work also often depends on the use of sophisticated computing software.

‘Antony Gormley’s sculpture is designed to reflect both Turing’s brilliance and his vulnerability; but at the same time the sculpture also embodies the transformation of the industrial into the information age – a transformation in which Turing played such a crucial part.’

It rejected a suggestion by a councillor that the sculpture be placed outside the front of the college.

‘We fear that, if the sculpture were placed outside the College, the sense of its integration within the life of the College would be lost, and that there would be a risk that it would take on the status of an isolated icon or some kind of trophy,’ King’s College said. 

A decision on the application is due to be made by planning officers.

Meanwhile, when sculptures by Sir Antony Gormley of his own naked body were put on a Liverpool beach they also courted controversy. 

The 100 life-size body cast-iron figures, which weigh 650kg, are called ‘Another Place’ and are installed on Crosby Beach.

The naked figures, which face towards the River Mersey Estuary, did provoke annoyance from resident but as they drew people to the local area they were made a  permanent attraction under the ownership of Sefton Council. 

In 2017, students at the University of East Anglia were also furious by a statue of a man on the edge of their library roof.

It was from Gormley’s Event Horizon exhibition of human figures on rooftops and a petition was launched to tear it down but it was also defended at the time. 

He also said in 2020, it would be ‘absolutely legitimate’ to ban mobiles inside galleries after he was forced to ask visitors to put their devices away when viewing his installation at London’s Royal Academy last year.

The Cave – made from 100 tons of sheet steel – presents a dark maze of walk-through chambers.

Sir Antony said: ‘It was totally wrecked, with people using their phones either to light the way or take photographs. We had to say: ‘Please don’t use your phone because you’ll ruin your own experience and everyone else’s.’ ‘

Exhibition visitors now put a ‘selfie opportunity’ and ‘I was there’ mindset above anything else, he warned.

Although his work often involves participation from others, Sir Antony admitted he is ‘resistant to the increasing influence of the virtual in our lives’.

He has not the only one to have come under fire for his artwork with several sculptures creating controversy in recent years. 

In 2020, Maggi Hambling’s design, which depicted a nude figure atop a 10ft ‘swirling mingle of female forms’, was unveiled in Newington Green, North London.

Hambling was bombarded with criticism online as feminists asked why the figure of Mary Wollstonecraft atop the £143,000 statue had to be naked. 

In 2017, a bizarre statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was mocked all over the world after being installed at Madeira airport. 

Emanuel Santos, 40, who was the artist who crafted the bronze bust of the footballer ace to mark the renaming of the airport to Cristiano Ronaldo Airport.

The former airport cleaner, who comes from the same Atlantic island as Ronaldo, claimed ‘you can’t please everyone’ as he addressed the ridicule towards the bust.

In 2011, a statue of Andy Murray was made for the tennis ace complete with warrior clothing, although Andy doesn’t appear thrilled by the likeness. 

It was unveiled at the Shanghai Rolex Masters tournament at the Qizhong Tennis Center in Shanghai on October 11. 

Also Read  Paul Anka Touring Strong at 80, Show with Andrea Bocelli Coming Soon

Aside from the failed art works of the famous, Britain’s sculptures from colonial times have also faced calls to  get rid of them. 

Slaver Edward Colston was toppled at the height of the BLM protests in 2021.

The bronze memorial to the 17th century slave merchant was pulled down during a protest on June 7, before being dumped in Bristol Harbour.

From trigger warnings on Shakespeare to alerting Archeology students they may encounter bones: Other woke university labels

Works such as Hamlet by Shakespeare will come with trigger warnings for students at the Open University

Works such as Hamlet by Shakespeare will come with trigger warnings for students at the Open University

Works such as Hamlet by Shakespeare will come with trigger warnings for students at the Open University

Open University slaps trigger warnings on English Literature course

The Open University, which has the greatest number of students of all UK institutions, has now issued ‘trigger’ warnings for all but one of the texts studied in its ‘English Literature from Shakespeare to Austen’ module.

Undergraduates are informed that reading William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, and Jane Austen’s Persuasion may trigger feelings of ‘distress’ and ‘trauma’.

Critics branded the warnings the ‘height of stupidity’ and claimed that students could be deterred from discovering some of the world’s literary treasures.

The trigger warning list states: ‘Apart from Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, the other set texts contain some material (including depictions of violence, assault or self-harm) that some students might find distressing.’ 

University of Aberdeen warns students novel contains ‘depictions of murder, death’ 

The University of Aberdeen have cautioned undergraduates that Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped 'contains depictions of murder, death, family betrayal and kidnapping'

The University of Aberdeen have cautioned undergraduates that Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped 'contains depictions of murder, death, family betrayal and kidnapping'

The University of Aberdeen have cautioned undergraduates that Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Kidnapped ‘contains depictions of murder, death, family betrayal and kidnapping’

And at the University of Aberdeen, academic chiefs have cautioned undergraduates that Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Kidnapped involves an abduction. 

The so-called trigger warning also told students that Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar – written more than 400 years ago and set in 44 BC – features ‘sexist attitudes’ and has a plot that ‘centres on a murder’.

Meanwhile, a warning about Charles Dickens’s French Revolution novel A Tale Of Two Cities, which famously features the guillotine, says that it ‘contains scenes of violence, execution and death’.

University of York puts ‘woke’ trigger warning on archaeology courses alerting students they will see ‘images and videos of human remains’ 

The University of York's trigger warning about the possibility of pictures of remains being seen

The University of York's trigger warning about the possibility of pictures of remains being seen

The University of York’s trigger warning about the possibility of pictures of remains being seen

At the University of York professors are warning students on its Communicating Archaeology module: ‘Content Warning: This module occasionally shows images and videos of human remains’.

MP Andrew Bridgen – who has previously hit out against little-needed trigger warnings and censorship – said it was absurd.

Don’t tell the snowflakes… but the dragon DIES: UEA slaps violence and discrimination trigger warnings on 15th century text about St George 

Students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are warned of The Legend Of St George, by the 15th Century monk and poet John Lydgate, which forms part of the Medieval Monstrosities module of the English Literature course.

Dons have slapped a trigger warning on the heroic story of England’s patron saint, lest the legend prove upsetting and offensive to today’s university students.

Undergraduates have been told: ‘This literary text tells the story of St George and his martyrdom which contains descriptions of and allusions to torture and violence leading to his death.

‘It also contains instances of discriminatory language, particularly with reference to ethnicity and religion.’

Dons slapped a trigger warning on the heroic story of England’s patron saint. Undergraduates were told that the literary text contains 'descriptions of and allusions to torture and violence leading to his death'

Dons slapped a trigger warning on the heroic story of England’s patron saint. Undergraduates were told that the literary text contains 'descriptions of and allusions to torture and violence leading to his death'

Dons slapped a trigger warning on the heroic story of England’s patron saint. Undergraduates were told that the literary text contains ‘descriptions of and allusions to torture and violence leading to his death’

Old English classic Beowulf gets slapped with trigger warning as Aberdeen University dons fear students may be distressed to read about monsters

The University of Aberdeen believes that students reading Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Studies may be distressed by the saga. 

The university has put more than 30 warnings on one module, entitled ‘Lost Gods and Hidden Monsters of the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages’. 

A note to students reads: ‘Texts studied on this course contain representations of violence, coercion, animal cruelty or animal death, incest, suicide, explicit sexual content… ableism.’ 

In addition, students were warned that ‘there will also be monsters’. 

Ray Winstone provided the voice of Beowulf (pictured) in a 2007 film adaptation

Ray Winstone provided the voice of Beowulf (pictured) in a 2007 film adaptation

Ray Winstone provided the voice of Beowulf (pictured) in a 2007 film adaptation

Beowulf, the tale of terrifying beasts and a fire-breathing dragon being killed by a hero, has been taught for generations as one of the greatest stories of all time. 

The hero of Beowulf dispatches the monstrous figure of Grendel – who is described in Old English as ‘unhælu’, or ‘infirm’. However, some scholars have argued this is offensive because it pitches the able-bodied against the disabled. 

The hero of the 3,000-line poem also kills a ‘wyrm’ (a dragon/ serpent) at the end, alongside his dutiful servant Wiglaf. 

The advice specifically mentions the violent content in Beowulf, stating: ‘Particularly graphic representations of violence… will be encountered in… Beowulf.’ 

A further note warns of ‘blasphemy, defecation, psychological violence, pain, alcohol abuse, symbols of evil, black magic’. 

The university policy on content warnings, reported by the Daily Telegraph, explains the need for warnings: ‘The mental health and wellbeing of students is a primary concern of the school.’ 

Beowulf is depicted fighting the monstrous figure of Grendel in a book illustration

Beowulf is depicted fighting the monstrous figure of Grendel in a book illustration

Beowulf is depicted fighting the monstrous figure of Grendel in a book illustration

 

 



Source link

Contact Us For Promotions, Biography Submission, Edit Or Takedown Of An Article.

DMCA Takedown

  • Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.