If you go down to the London School of Economics today you’re in for a big surprise; Turner Prize-winning sculptor Mark Wallinger has unveiled a brand new piece of public-facing work.
Wallinger’s latest work, The World Turned Upside Down, takes the form of a giant globe. It isn’t just any globe though. Here’s the twist: the British artist, who was the first person to fill the previously empty fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, has inverted the earth itself.
Or as the LSE – which boasts the likes of Mick Jagger, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and former-WWE superstar Val Venis amongst its notable alumni – puts it: “Most of the landmasses now lie in the ‘bottom’ hemisphere with the countries and cities re-labelled for this new orientation.”
Forcing the viewer to reconsider their relationship to the traditional Mercator projection of the world (i.e. the one most of us immediately see in our mind’s eye when we’re asked to conjure up an image of the globe) by asking us to consider both the vastness of the oceans and the true size of Africa, The World Turned Upside Down we’re told, reflects “the spirit of progressive enquiry that has characterised the School since its inception.”
Minouche Shafik, LSE Director, is quoted as saying, “this bold new work by Mark Wallinger encapsulates what LSE is all about. We are committed to tackling the biggest global challenges through our research and teaching, and this means seeing the world from different and unfamiliar points of view.”
The sculpture forms part of a larger body of work, which first appeared in public earlier this year as a series of Brexit-related posters and billboards in London, Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow.