To make a giant statement about the undue influence of the financial sector on London life, "interventionists" Shift/Delete took the already phallic Gherkin building and added a virtual, masturbating, hand.
The art installation, "Act of Parliament," uses a large-scale projection onto the famous Norman Foster-designed shaft of a building (aka 40 St Mary Axe) that is home to several financial services companies to protest special treatment of the financial industry ahead of the next month’s G8 summit in Ireland.
The art group, which specializes in socially minded outdoor installations, sees the bailouts, tax breaks, and general treatment of the financial sector by the government as a form of "gratification."
The artists said in a statement:
"Parliament has given these bankers nearly £500 billion pounds of public money due to the financial crisis, and right now the same bankers enjoy £14 billion worth of bonuses a year for their actions. Parliament does nothing to challenge the bankers—our government has been captured—and seeks to constantly gratify the City of London whilst the rest of us have austerity imposed on us. We must release their grip."