TRAFALGAR SQUARE. LONDON 21.10.15
YOU weighs 25 tons and is 14.5 metres long. It was unveiled on King Charles Island in Trafalgar Square in August. It consists of two identical bronze index fingers pointing towards each other. Whenever I pass through Trafalgar Square I'm bound to find some member of the public bring photographed in the space between.
The work is part of Contemporary Mexican Sculpture: The Vision of Four Artists, an exhibition of new large-scale sculptures in volcanic stone, bronze, and resin by the sculptors Yvonne Domenge (b.1946), Jorge Yazpik (b.1955), Paloma Torres (b. 1960), and José Rivelino (b.1973), who together represent four successive generations of Mexican artists.
I wrote earlier (Blog 49) about Rivelino's majestic Nuestros Silencios in Victoria Tower Gardens on the banks of the Thames, which has now toured the world. Rivelino has demonstrated again and again how intervention in an urban landscape is a fertile way to engage the public, prompting dialogue with collective memory. What is real and surreal, tangible and intangible? My first glimpse of YOU made me think of confrontation, of guns, not fingers, perhaps because there are passers by who still carry the memory of the terrible Blitz of central London in the 1940s.
Public space is always the most sincere, challenging place in which to display an artist’s work...In a world that is self-evidently unequal, YOU calls upon viewers to question their attitude towards the highly significant issue of equality between human beings. Rivelino