“It seemed like a good idea at the time” will be my epitaph. And I will have it written on a big piece of paper that I will stare at very hard at 4.59 am on Thursday 8th October as a cherry-picker deposits me on the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square as one of the 2,400 people taking part in One and Other.
The rules are that I can do anything I want as long as it is legal. I’m not allowed to take Ruby with me, unless I learn to benchpress a large German motorcycle: here’s the full wording: “You are welcome to bring anything you yourself can carry onto the plinth. You might want to bring warm clothes (especially if your time slot is during the night), a book, an umbrella, some food or drink, props, or even a small, battery-powered amplifier.”
Props are going to be essential – I had a walk past today, a guy was sitting up there with a briefcase and a mobile phone, barely visible from the ground and certainly inaudible. Also, my slot is 5am so it’s going to be dark, though there are floodlights.
A quick google reveals that there have been at least 2 other bikers, both women, taking their turn on the plinth – Spark, who wanted to reflect her personality as a “proud biker,” and MotorcycleRachel, who got a bike up there courtesy of Scooterman and looks absolutely fantastic pulling wheelies and riding no-hands. I want to celebrate what motorcycling means to me, and that’s community. But how to make that visible?
I’m thinking at the moment that what might work is to ask all the bikers I know, and all the bikers they know, for three things:-
– a photo of a bike they love
– a word that says why they love riding
– and the name of the person they love to ride with
and I’ll find a way of displaying these on the plinth. A bit like Tracy Emin’s tent, but less smutty.