Saturday, March 19, 2005

Churchill's Song

(Photo from the BBC News website)
Breaking news...

What best signifies a man? Is it his physical image, an exact likeness of his visage and bulk? Or is it an interpretation of the qualities that people know him by? And if the latter, how best to interpret them?

It appears that the BBC has done it again. They've just unveiled Paul de Monchaux's tribute to Winston Churchill in Westminister Palace. Churchill was the winner in the BBC II's "Great Britons" contest in 2002. His 50k fee was paid with the funds they raised from the vote. The piece, which is an English oak (get it?) slatted tower inscribed with facsimilies of Churchill's speeches inscribed in each slat is called "Song".

The proposal sounded great. According to the Beeb, the family met the sculptor before the work began and they complimented it at the unveiling. But Nicholas Soames, the dead leader's grandson says nay. He labels it "nothing more than a pile of upturned grocery boxes" and calls it "BBC silly". He adds- "Will I take my children along to see it? Of course I bloody won't. Why would you take any child to see such a ridiculous thing?" (Ummmmm- )

UK blogs are awash with opinions, of course. Most say they thought the piece was actually the packing crate for the ultimate piece. I did do a bit of hunting on previous work by de Monchaux myself and found that his tribute to Wilfred Owen bears a striking resemblance to the Churchill piece. Which leads to the questions- where were the tinker toys when Paul grew up?
Posted by Hello

15 comments:

  1. The British philosopher, R.G. Collingwood, commented in his book, "The Principles of Art," that great portraiture need not look anything like the subject, but only that you must feel that you are in the presence of the subject.

    Art Jacobson

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