Coulston’s statue finds new equilibrium
These thoughts crossed my mind as I watched Coulston’s statue being pulled down. I had been interested in the psychology and physics of the toppling and looking at photos of other topplings – Lenin, Saddam Hussein et al.
The statue starts in the pose of maximum authority taken from statues of leaders going back to the early Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, an authority conveyed by their physical stance, gaze fixed both on the long view and directly at you – yes, you!
He’s up there above you and once it is begun the toppling goes through degrees, each degree marking a diminishment of authority as the gutter greets the statue. Overbalancing is clownish, degrading, you become mud. The phrase ‘How the mighty are fallen’ contains an intuitive sense of the physically low nature of disgrace.
Coulston’s statue toppling statue ironically tumbled into a new stability under that same sea to which he had consigned so many souls.