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The Friday Photos: Public Art, Parades And Parties

TimW
By TimW Last edited 60 months ago
The Friday Photos: Public Art, Parades And Parties
The people's Fourth Plinth favourite - Yinka Shonibare's ship in a bottle, by JudyGr
The people's Fourth Plinth favourite - Yinka Shonibare's ship in a bottle, by JudyGr
The most visible single example of mayoral investment in culture - Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit, by Andy Wilkes
The most visible single example of mayoral investment in culture - Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit, by Andy Wilkes
The Tate Modern extension, credit Hayes Davidson & de Meuron
The Tate Modern extension, credit Hayes Davidson & de Meuron
The Black Cultural Archive in Brixton - a lesser known project with mayoral capital behind it, by Joe Dunckley
The Black Cultural Archive in Brixton - a lesser known project with mayoral capital behind it, by Joe Dunckley
One of many GLA/mayor-supported parades, this one being Chinese New Year of course, by jp3g
One of many GLA/mayor-supported parades, this one being Chinese New Year of course, by jp3g
London's widely-praised New Year's Fireworks display cost a cool £276,000, by Rodents rule
London's widely-praised New Year's Fireworks display cost a cool £276,000, by Rodents rule
St George's Day parade in 2010, by asw909
St George's Day parade in 2010, by asw909
Parade time: green people on St Patrick's Day 2012, by kenjonbro
Parade time: green people on St Patrick's Day 2012, by kenjonbro
Gone but not forgotten (except by the chap having a lie down perhaps), Ken's Rise Festival in 2008, by Luke Robinson
Gone but not forgotten (except by the chap having a lie down perhaps), Ken's Rise Festival in 2008, by Luke Robinson

As part of our mayoral election coverage this week, Londonist is looking into the issue of arts and culture.

On Wednesday, we looked at the different attitudes and policies of the two frontrunners in the race, Ken and Boris. What is striking about the mayor's role and culture is how limited it is. There's a bit of lobbying and some direct funding, but compared to transport and crime, for example, the mayor is in a supporting role.

Where influence is clearest, however, is on outdoor art and events. Indeed, some of Boris's and Ken's most visible successes have stemmed from the realm of public art. For Ken, that was the championing of the Fourth Plinth series, which, it is safe to say, is much loved by Londoners. Yinka Shonibare's beautiful ship in a bottle, opening this week's Friday Photos, has arguably been the most popular work of art on the plinth thus far. Boris's flagship piece of city furniture, meanwhile, is the red steel sculpture in the Olympic Park by Anish Kapoor.

While these projects gain the highest profile, it shouldn't be forgotten that the mayor does inject capital investment into very select projects, here represented by the Herzog & de Meuron extension to the Tate Modern (a modest £7m, but there you go) and the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, with Boris finding a crucial £1m for the project.

Elsewhere, the mayor's relationship with culture is all about parades and public parties (the saints' days, national days etc), events that bring in tourist pounds and promote London's internationalism.

And finally, our last image looks back to Ken's Rise Festival, brutally culled by Boris after his 2008 victory. This image of Rise, with one punter unable to physically stand up, let alone stand up against racism, isn't the most inspiring. But who knows, perhaps Rise Festival might return if Ken triumphs in May.

With thanks to Londonist Flickr pool contributors: JudyGr, firstnameunknown, KenJonBro, jp3g, Andy Wilkes, Rodents rule, Joe Dunckley, asw909, and Luke Robinson. Tate Modern extension credit to Hayes Davidson & de Meuron.

Last Updated 23 March 2012