Anish Kapoor: The London Orbit Tower

Yesterday, Anish Kapoor unveiled one of his craziest works of art: Orbit. This twisted and red Eiffel Tower rival is one of the most criticized symbols of the London Olympic Games 2012. It has been erected in Stratford’s Olympic Park among electric wires, railways, poles and pylons. No wonder there has been such a controversy in the country of Shakespeare and William Turner. The British have been irritated not only about paying taxes for the organization of the Olympics in a period of financial crisis, but also about seeing such a crippled creature growing in the middle of east London.
However, Anish Kapoor and the Culture Department are much more optismistic.
During the Olympics, visitors will pay from £7 to £15 to climb up to the top of Orbit to admire the outstanding view of suburbian London! Stadiums, concrete, blocks of flats, train stations, car parks, supermarkets, an urban landscape that Constable would have painted joyfully if he had not luckily lived in the 19th century! Moreover, Kapoor can boast of building the highest sculpture in Great Britain! 376 feet (114 m)! Supported by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal himself! Lakshmi! The goddess of wealth! That’s a sign!
Well, I guess that these arguments haven’t really convinced you yet.

But let me tell you that Kapoor has not always created metal towers in unexpected areas. He has also given birth to human-like beings in the cradles of less hostile places.
In Chicago’s Millenium Park, for example, the artist has dropped a huge mirrored bean-shaped sculpture named Cloud Gate. While having a walk, people can play with this swollen and generous pachyderm : they can go under its body, caress its soft polished steel skin, lean against its belly, and look at their reflexions into it. And little by little, all these people walking and moving around it create movement and life and make the creature breathe.

Inside Leviathan

In Paris, Anish Kapoor got even closer to humankind when he settled his ephemeral superstructure in the Grand Palais: Levianthan. Like in Chicago, people could walk and play with the shapes and the PVC skin of this huge freak; but can we still call « freak » a work of art which has the roundness of a mother and the organical warm of a womb? Indeed people could not only hear its breath by sticking their ears on its body but they could also get into its dark pink belly and feel the heat and the movement of life inside.
Thus, every Kapoor’s work produces life through its shapes, its material, it’s colours or even its relationship with visitors. So does Orbit! Anish Kapoor said it is « beautiful » and « awkward » with « its elbows sticking out » ; maybe I would go too far, if I added « like a young hindu bride », wrapped in her red wedding sari, looking for her balance on the unknown and tortuous road of marriage. And that what Orbit tends to do, too shy to stand straight now, it will soon get more and more confident to marry this world of concrete and maybe one day, Orbit will be the symbol of Stratford’s development and wealth. Lakshmi only knows…
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One thought on “Anish Kapoor: The London Orbit Tower

  1. sury1939

    i like what u write about india- have u been to the south; oui , vous avez déviné, je suis de sud del’inde( un peu de tamoul +un peu de Kerala) j’aimerais vous présentiez une comparison! par ailleurs, je serai très content si vous vouvez procurez mon livre( en anglais) Murder in venice- une imagination un mathématicien de keral va en Italie pour rencontrer Galelio pour expliquer les ancien maths en inde. svp regardez notez bien que je verse le royalty fees entièrement à un hopital en inde. vous pouvez meme enseigner une partie de mon livre à vos élevés en anglais!!! c’est mon deuxième roman! vous povez communiquez avec moi par e mail:

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