On the End Austerity Now demo yesterday I ended up in Whitehall. I’d been there on May 9th when the Women of World War II war memorial had been defaced with the words “Fuck Tory Scum” (no I didn’t see it happen and I don’t know who did it. Yes, it was a stupid act.). This time the authorities, presumably in the sad belief that protesters target war memorials, had surrounded the structure with wooden boards.
Now, I’m assuming this probably cost more than the cleaning of it last time but let’s not worry about the logic of their actions. They are mad. It’s better to focus on what this enabled people to do. No need for spray paint either. The whole structure became and instant art installation – probably now dismantled and junked when it should be in the Tate Modern.
People stopped to write their messages on the boards. Others just stopped to carefully walk around it, reading the messages and seeing how the work interacted with the environment from different angles. Some viewed it in the sunshine, others came back when it rained to see how that affected the aesthetic experience.
Below is a selection of some of the highlights from a work of art that has already been lost. That’s austerity folks!