Friday, 11 May 2012

A fitting symbol of where we are as a culture?

Welcome to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the tower which is not a tower. Like the Millennium Dome (sorry, The O2 arena), or the London Eye (actually, the 'EDF Energy London Eye') it seems a fitting monument for a culture which has lost its way. 
We can see this kind of thing - as ugly but on a much smaller scale - in every modern town centre in the country; à chacun son goût, of course, but this is meant to be public sculpture, saying something about our collective life. Afraid of saying anything which may be now 'controversial' in terms of belief or cultural tradition, we end up with a confused statement which does nothing more than distract the eye, confuse the mind, and starve the soul. 
The best advice for the summer seems to be to concentrate on the sporting event which is the real Olympic Games and celebrate the incredible athletic prowess of those taking part, rather than the grandiose yet completely empty opening ceremonies and the right-on 'cultural events' which will inevitably surround it.
The ArclelorMittal Orbit (named, of course, after a prominent industrialist) seems, 'innovative structural engineering' aside, a telling visual symbol for a society which has replaced the beauty of truth with the marketable relativism of commercialised entertainment.

1 comment:

  1. Why did we have to have such a hideous monstrosity as part of the Olypic site? And I believe those who wish to ascend it will have to pay £15 - the mind boggles


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