Monday, 14 May 2012

ArcelorMittal Orbit - and other big erections

The Arcelor Mittal Orbit, the UK's tallest 'sculpture' (114.5 metres) has been unveiled in the Olympic Park, Stratford, London - to a mixed reception. The tower was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond and largely paid for by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal - the full cost is reported to be around £22.7 Million.

Polly Staple, director of the Chisenhale Gallery in nearby Mile End, remarks drily: "I work with a lot of women artists who aren't interested in working vertically."
(From article by Charlotte Higgins)

Read a (rather gushing) review by Jonathan Jones and watch a video of views about, of, and from, the tower.

Below is a fairly arbitrary anthology of (more or less) 'vertical statements', figurative and abstract, real and imagined.
Vladimir Tatlin, Monument to the Third International, (Tatlin's Tower), 1917 - photomontage as envisioned in Petrogad (St Petersburg). The tower was planned to be 400 metres high but exists only as a model.
Gustave Eiffel, Eiffel Tower, Paris, 1889 - built as the entrance to the 1899 World's Fair; 320 metres high
Antony Gormley, Angel of the North, Gateshead, 1998; 20 metres high
The Spring Temple Buddha, Lushan County, Henan China, 2002; height (including pedestal) 208 metres
Frédéric Bartholdi, The Statue of Libertiy, New York Harbour, 1886; height (ground to torch) 93 metres.
Heitor da Silva Costa and Paul Landowski, Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, 1931; height 39.6 metres.
Yevgeny Vuchetich and Nikolai Nikitin, The Motherland Calls, Volgograd, Russia, 1967; height 85 metres (from tip of sword to top of plinth)
R.M. Soedarsono, National Monument, Jakarta, Indonesia, 1975; height 132 metres
Trajan's Column, Rome, 113 AD; height 35 Metres
Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, Tsonjin Boldog nr Ulan Bator, Mongolia, 2007; height 40 Metres
Mark Wallinger, Ebbsfleet Landmark proposal: height 50 metres
Minaret at the Great Mosque of Samarra, Iraq, 851 AD; height 52 Metres

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