I’m delighted. I posted in August about the shortlist for the fourth plinth, and the winners are the rocking horse child and the blue cockerel – announced yesterday by Boris Johnson. The child comes first in 2012, and the cockerel in 2013.
Mark Brown reports on the announcement.
Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures, Fig 101, which will be cast in bronze, portrays a boy astride his rocking horse.
Its creators say the child is elevated to the status of a historical hero in the context of the iconography of Trafalgar Square. Instead of acknowledging the heroism of the powerful, the work is said to celebrate the heroism of growing up and gently question the tradition for monuments predicated on military victory or defeat.
German artist Katharina Fritsch’s proposal, Hahn/Cock, is a giant cockerel in ultramarine blue. The cockerel is a popular motif in modernist art, symbolising regeneration, awakening and strength.
Johnson said the fourth plinth sparked the imagination and attracted a “tremendous response” from the public.
“As we head towards 2012 – a pivotal year for culture as well as sport – these witty and enigmatic creations underline London’s position as one of the most exciting cities for art and are sure to keep people talking,” he said.
The selection was made by a commissioning group chaired by Ekow Eshun. “Elmgreen and Dragset and Katharina Fritsch are distinguished artists with major international reputations,” Eshun said. “Their selection further underlines the importance and reputation of the fourth plinth as the most significant public art commission in Britain.
“Both have created imaginative and arresting artworks that fully respond to the uniqueness of their location and I can’t wait to see their sculptures in Trafalgar Square in 2012 and 2013.”
Moira Sinclair, the London executive director of Arts Council England, said: “The fourth plinth continues to provide a wonderful platform, creating a shared moment amid the hustle of city life for thousands of Londoners and visitors alike to be intrigued, to think about their environment afresh and to experience the very best of contemporary art.