The proposal, dubbed One and Other, will see the plinth ‘perpetually populated’ for 100 consecutive days by volunteers who have agreed to stand for an hour at a time around the clock.
The artist’s installation will be followed by Turner Prize nominee Yinka Shonibare’s plans to build a giant version of Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, in a huge glass bottle.
Chosen from a shortlist of six by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, both schemes were unveiled by new London Mayor Boris Johnson this morning (23 June).
The pair were picked ahead of designs by Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller, and a 18m-tall steel structure called Faites L'Art, Pas La Guerre dreamed up by David Bickle, a practice director at Hawkins\Brown, in collaboration with artists Bob and Roberta Smith.
Speaking about his victory, Gormley said: ‘Through elevation onto the plinth and removal from common ground, the body becomes a metaphor, a symbol and allows us to reflect on the diversity, vulnerability and particularity of the individual in contemporary society.’