London Mayor Announces Fourth Plinth 2012-13 Winners

The Fourth Plinth Programme is funded by the Mayor of London with the support of the Arts Council England and sees new artworks being selected for the vacant plinth at Trafalgar Square. Mayor of London Boris Johnson recently announced the winning artists of the next two commissions. ‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 101’ by Elmgreen & Dragset has been successfully commissioned for 2012 and ‘Hahn/Cock’ by Katharina Fritsch has been commissioned for 2013.

The sculpture by Elmgreen & Dragset (who are based in London and Berlin) portrays a boy riding his rocking horse. The work will be cast in bronze. 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 celebrates the heroism of growing up and gently questions the tradition for monuments predicated on military victory or defeat.

Katharina Fritsch’s (based in Dusseldorf) sculpture is a giant cockerel in ultramarine blue. In the setting of the square this extraordinary animal, its unnatural size and colour will bring a sense of surrealism and uncertainty to the elegant Georgian architecture. The cockerel, a popular motif not only in modernist but also ancient art, symbolises fertility, regeneration, awakening and strength.

Both works are strong visual statements that will bring a different character to the square and establish a bridge between older stereotypes and modern practices interpreted through size, shape and colour. They will, simultaneously, combine the minimalistic appearance of the depicted form with the more complicated consensus of its hidden ideology. This underlying dualism will physically represent the glory of modern society and its future, all personified by the two gentle depictions that will hope to communicate with the viewer on different levels and stimulate their imagination.

The fourth plinth is a space of senses that sparks the response of imaginative individuals, whose vision is to share their creative spirit via enigmatic creations emphasising the status of London as one of the most exciting cities for art.
|Kostas Prapoglou