Varsity students protest erection of ‘phallic’ statue
The students of a university in London are trying to block plans to erect a sculpture over claims its shape could be seen as “phallic”—even though it’s supposed to depict something different.
Sir Anthony Gormley crafted the sculpture, titled Alert, out of a 20ft stack of cantilevered steel blocks that are meant to resemble a squatting human figure, and the piece is due to be installed at Imperial College London’s newly built Dangoor Plaza in South Kensington later this year.
However, students of the public research university have been left less than impressed by the figure, because part of the design that is supposed to portray legs in a squatted position instead looks like an “erect penis”.
In a statement on the Imperial College London website, Sir Anthony said of the sculpture: “Through the conversion of anatomy into an architectural construction I want to re-assess the relationship between body and space. Balancing on the balls of the feet while squatting on its haunches and surveying the world around it, the attitude of this sculpture is alive, alert and awake.”
But a motion released by the Imperial College Union claims the figure could “hurt the image of and reputation of the college” because of its “obvious” resemblance to a penis.