Imperial College London students protest ‘phallic’ Antony Gormley statue

‘Alert’ is scheduled to be installed on the campus this summer

Courtesy Imperial College

Imperial College London students have raised concerns about the proposed installation of a new Antony Gormley sculpture on their campus. The six-metre-high Alert, constructed of stacked steel blocks, evokes the human form, and will be placed within the college’s Dangoor Plaza.

The artist has said of the work: ‘Through the conversion of anatomy into an architectural construction I want to re-assess the relation 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.’

However students are protesting the statue, claiming that its form actually suggests a man with an erect penis. ‘Regardless of artistic intent, Alert is interpreted by many as phallic,’ the students have written in a union motion. ‘The phallic interpretation’s preoccupation with the penis could be considered inappropriate for a grand public display, especially given the statue’s size.’

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