Fourth Plinth shortlist unveiled

A shortlist of six designs for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth have been unveiled, including a proposal by David Shrigley for a ten metre tall clenched hand making a thumbs up gesture.

David Shrigley, Really Good
David Shrigley, Really Good

Public voting and a closed judging process will decide the next two Fourth Plinth commissions to follow Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn/Cock.

Each artist has been commissioned to produce a maquette of their work which goes on display in the Crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, W1, where the public can view the proposals and vote.

David Shrigley’s Really Good bronze would be cast in the same dark patina as other statues in the square.

The Fourth Plinth Commission says that Shrigley hopes ‘it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy; that things considered “bad”, such as the economy, the weather and society, will benefit from a change of consensus toward positivity.’

Shrigley says, ‘It is my hope that this piece would make Trafalgar Square, London, the UK and the world a better place. And it would be quite a cost effective way of doing it.’

Hans Haacke, Gift Horse
Hans Haacke, Gift Horse

Hans Haacke’s Gift Horse is the skeleton of a riderless strutting horse. Tied to the horse’s front leg is an electronic ribbon displaying a live feed from the London Stock Exchange.

When the plinth was first erected it was meant to house a statue of William III on horseback. A shortfall in funds meant that this never happened.

A study of equine anatomy by artist George Stubbs was published the year after the birth of the king, and one of these etchings has informed the Haacke’s horse.

Mark Leckey, Larger Squat Afar
Mark Leckey, Larger Squat Afar

Mark Leckey’s Larger Squat Afar, (an anagram of Trafalgar Square) is an amalgamation of pieces of other statues and features found in Trafalgar Square.

Fabricated with 3D laser scanning and printing technology, according to the Fourth Plinth Commission it ‘embodies the power of the digital to overcome the physical and to fulfill the more monstrous capacities of the human imagination. ’

Liliane Lijn, The Dance
Liliane Lijn, The Dance

Liliane Lijn’s The Dance proposes a moving sculpture formed of two conical structures, which she says ‘bring together the formal and organic, animate and intimate, monumental and pedestrian.’

Ugo Rondinone, Moon Mask
Ugo Rondinone, Moon Mask

Ugo Rondinone’s Moon Mask is modeled by hand, cast in aluminium, and would face out over the square if selected.

Rondinone says, ‘Our connection to other people is our face. Our alternate self is a mask. Who are we? What binds us together?’

Marcus Coates, Unmade Monument
Marcus Coates, Unmade Monument

Marcus Coates’ Unmade Monument is ‘a monument to non-human art, a symbol to inspire and provoke the imagination of anyone regardless of age or nationality.’

The design is a replica of a gritstone outcrop formed millions of years ago in Yorkshire by ice, wind and rain.

The Fourth Plinth Commission has in recent years backed works including Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant, Anthony Gormley’s One and Other and Yinka Shonibare MBE’s Nelson Ship in a Bottle. 

The two winning artists will be announced by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in early 2014 with their works unveiled in Trafalgar Square in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

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