Just around the corner from the new Tate Modern extension, you’ll find a rather uncanny statue plonked upon a 6ft. plinth bearing the Latin inscription, “Non plaudite modo pecuniam jacite”- which translates as ‘Do not applaud, just throw money’ (an improvement on its original caption- “Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur”- ‘Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound’!)
Known as the ‘Monument to the Unknown Artist’, the piece was installed by an art collective called Greyworld; a group of artists who’ve been creating intriguing urban art since the mid-1990s. Other projects of theirs include the Lake District’s ‘Clockwork Forest’ (2011) and Trafalgar Sun (2012).
To the uninitiated, the Monument to the Unknown Artist can often cause considerable alarm- due to the fact that it’s capable of movement.
When it was first unveiled in 2007 a camera was linked to the artwork, the idea being that the statue could observe and mimic the actions of passersby. I’m not quite sure if this feature still functions- I certainly wasn’t attempting to dance like John Travolta in ‘Saturday Night Fever‘ when the above clip was filmed. Perhaps this mysterious figure is beginning to take on a mind of his own…
This image of the legendary, late, great boxer was taken at the top of the GPO Tower (now the BT Tower) in July 1966.
Muhammad Ali 1942-2016
If you ever find yourself passing 350 Euston Road, keep an eye out for this eerie pair.
The cast-iron figures form an art installation called Reflection which was created by London born sculptor, Anthony Gormley in 2001. Although the figure on the left appears to be reflected, it is in fact a separate effigy located inside the building.
Judging by the position of the scuff marks on the outdoor figure, it would appear that passers-by can’t resist giving him a cheeky pat on the bottom…