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Gormley vs Riefenstahl

December 29, 2010

The Olympics are an opportunity to tell a national story as well as one about London. This is important for Visit Britain who promote us as a  destination to tourists around the world. To this end they have published a series of images of sports people around iconic British landmarks. In this this one (my favourite) the much loved Angel of the North, a big, warm, collective hug to all the people of the North East of England, dwarfs the athlete who thrusts her arms to the skies in a pose modernist perfection. I kind of feel like this is an image of a country that has ideals, idealism and dreams of perfection in a greater perspective.  As in it would make just as much sense if you had a brick-layer, a tax-advisor, a bank clerk, a school teacher, a nurse, a businessman, a graphic designer lined up alongside her: a Britain perfectly mundane. Somehow don’t think Leni Riefenstahl would have done it like this.




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