An emblem of our time

alienA very strange statue has appeared in a small park around the corner from Victoria station in London showing an upside down, headless man with his legs flailing about in the air.

Five times larger than an ordinary person, it’s called Alien and is meant to represent a creature that’s crashlanded from the sky. For the artist David Breuer-Weil, it is variously a “fallen angel”,  the thrill of the “unexpected” or a metaphor for “enemy alien”, which his grandfather was classified as when he fled Nazi Germany for England.

Quirky video blogger Swilliamism, though, feels Alien equals bad vibe.  “It’s about giving up,” he declares dramatically. “It’s  not worth carrying on, that’s what this statue is telling us, it’s psycho active, it changes the environment in which we live, it’s covert, it’s subliminal, it’s subtle yet obvious.”

Others simply see it as a surreal joke; and it’s true it does brings a bit of cheer to a park dwarfed by big buildings and hemmed in by heavy traffic.

Since Alien is so open to interpretation, I’ll offer up my own. I see it as a perfect emblem of our time – a man with his head in the sand. And it is obviously a man, a huge and burly one at that, only, as Swilliamism points, he’s been emasculated. In other words, he hasn’t got the balls to see beyond the screaming Daily Mail headlines or see through the lies of  braying politicians while the world crashes down around him.

As such, Alien is in the wrong place. It should have been erected in Parliament Square, opposite the House of Commons, to remind everyone how democracy has been turned on its head.

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