Economist Plaza Exhibition: Rory Macbeth – Thank You

Rory Macbeth, Thank You, The Economist Plaza, 2002. Image courtesy the artist
Rory Macbeth, Thank You, The Economist Plaza, 2002. Image courtesy the artist

21 November 2002—12 January 2003

Consultancy, Economist Plaza

The Economist Plaza
25 St James's Street
London, SW1A 1HG United Kingdom

Thank You, 2002, is a hyper-real representation of a street performer imitating a statue, as found in great numbers in places such as Covent Garden piazza and along Las Ramblas in Barcelona. The figure will stand alone and motionless in the Plaza, plying its trade amidst the passers-by hurrying to get indoors away from the winter weather.

Doubly defiant, the sculpture braves not only the elements but also the conspicuous lack of street artists and performers, as well as beggars and the homeless, in the City of Westminster, particularly St. James’s – kept out of the area by the strict enforcement of prohibitive by-laws.Through its witty mimicry, Thank You also acts as a parody of both monumental statuary and decorative ‘corporate’ sculpture.

This piece follows a series of other similar such works produced by Macbeth, alone and in collaboration with artist Darren Phizacklea and the group Twenteenth Century. These include Statue (2001) shown in London at VTO; and Waxwork of a Brian Sewell Lookalike (2000), recently exhibited as part of Matthew Collings’ Art Crazy Nation exhibition at Milton Keynes Art Gallery. Rory Macbeth lives and works in Leeds.


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