Twenty-three-year-old Bonolo Woracker, better known as ‘Bow’ was amongst the 2400 lucky hopefuls selected to take part in the ‘one & other’ project, which saw a staggering 34000 candidates apply. He delivered his artistic demonstration on Saturday 10 October, spending one hour on top of the plinth, between 8-9pm.
Speaking exclusively to CUtoday, he said: “I’ve always had something to say and what better way to say something than on a plinth opposite Nelsons Column in the historic centre of the Capital city.”
Bow, who graduated his Law and politics degree in 2006, wore different costumes as part of his experience, interacted with gatherers, and held up placards to explain the different stereotypes associated with his costumes. Amongst the 3 outfits, were a hooded tracksuit resembling the black stereotype, a traditional Indian suit representing cultures, and a typical Muslim suit complimented by a Keffiyeh (scarf), as worn by Arab Palestinian traditionalists, reflecting Islam phobia.
Despite the cold chill in the air, Bow still managed to warm the hearts of many gatherers, speaking passionately through a megaphone between costume changes.
Admitting to his phobia of heights, Bow explains: “I was pretty scared because of the height but felt quite positive. I was a bit worried that it would rain on the night but it didn’t.…I wanted to challenge myself.”
Commenting on his success, he said: “I had great support and interaction from the crowd whilst I was up there. It was interesting that online hundreds of people that didn’t even know me were tweeting about me.
“I have had people contact me and tell me how they have been impacted by my performance, which is good because it obviously achieved my goal of getting people to think about their prejudices and negative stereotypes.
“It is definitely u there with my top achievements in life. I really did enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity which was artistic and political at the same time.”
If this wasn’t enough, the PCGE student who recently moved back home to North Harrow, London, also appeared on Anthony Gormley’s one & other show on the Sky Arts Channel and was interviewed about his experience.
The ‘One & Other’ project, commissioned by the Mayor of London, saw 2,400 people take their place on the empty fourth plinth, 1 person every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days. Turner prize winner Anthony Gormley, the brain child behind the project, believes it represents the democratisation of art.
He said: “Art should be for everyone and this was an experiment to see whether everyone could be involved in making it. Who can be represented in art? How can we make it? How can we experience it? These are questions that have exercised me for years.”
Although the project has ended, a complete record of it will remain. Each participant was photographed before taking to the plinth and interviewed as part of an oral history project.
By Gemma-Louise Johnson