4 July 2012

Hang On a Minute Lads, I've Got a Great Idea.

If you have ever seen the original version of the Italian Job, starring Michael Caine, you will be familiar with those famous words.  Uttered as the back of the mobsters’ bus is left teetering over a cliff, the movie is considered an institution in the United Kingdom. Now, in the run up to the London Olympics the situation has been reproduced. Only this time it’s on the top of an art deco building in Bexhill rather than a winding mountain road in Switzerland.

The artwork which is named after the legendary line from the movie is by artist Richard Wilson who had his eye on the building for the installation for quite a while. Attracted to the De La Warr Pavillion by its edges he wanted to create an installation as a metaphor for the limits of everything.

In the run up to the Olympics it can also be seen as a metaphor for flag waving – the red, white and blue of the van nicely echoes the colors of the Union Jack flag. At least eight tonnes of steel girders are in place to ensure that the installation teeters but does not fall.

Hang on a minute lads, I’ve got a great idea opens to the general public at the weekend.  It will be on display throughout the summer as part of the Cultural Olympiad, which runs alongside the Summer Olympics. Whereas the latter will showcase the best sports men and women from around the world, the Cultural Olympiad is designed as a platform for British artists, writers and performers.

Which is nice! Many people are not looking forward to the Olympics, not having (shock horror!) any inclination to participate in or spectate anything to do with sports. At least the Cultural Olympiad will give the sporting philistines something else to do!