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Monument to the Unknown Artist

Just around the corner from the new Tate Modern extensionyou’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’!)

Monument to the Unkown Artist (image: copyright Andrew Shoben)

Monument to the Unkown Artist (image: copyright Andrew Shoben)

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.

Monument to the Unknown Artist

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…

Unknown Artist

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4 responses

  1. Best not visit after going to the pub…

  2. A new one to me, Rob. Unusual indeed.
    Cheers, Pete.

  3. […] feel pensive while No. 2’s enthusiasm for Ethiopian cooking, curious windswept clothing on a statue, and everything else he sees, flows with no ebb in […]

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