diamond geezer

 Friday, March 06, 2015

Yesterday this Gift Horse was unveiled on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. It's minutes old in this photo, which is why there's still a cameraman loitering on an adjacent crane, presumably looking it in the mouth.

Gift Horse is the tenth work of public art to appear on the plinth, following hot on the tail of that big blue cock. It's the work of New Yorker Hans Haacke, selected by committee and placed on public view for the next eighteen months. His design features a skeletal horse with an electronic ribbon tied to its foreleg that displays up-to-the-minute stock market prices. The horse is a reference to the equestrian statue of William IV that would have appeared on the plinth in the 1840s had public money not run out. And the share price thing is a wry comment on London's relationship with wealth and power, or it's whatever you'd like it to be, because that's art.

I didn't plan on being in Trafalgar Square at the right moment, indeed I missed the cover sheet being pulled off and Boris's big photo opportunity. By the time I arrived the dignitaries had left, the last TV crew was wrapping up its piece to camera, and the square was returning rapidly to normal. Indeed a large number of people standing around seemed oblivious to the new arrival, preferring instead to point their cameras at the fountains, Nelson's Column and especially each other. The Gift Horse doesn't stand out in the same way that Hahn/Cock did, being a far more subtle intervention, and not an obvious selfie backdrop.

At the foot of the plinth, operatives were busy tidying away the signage erected to give the launch a correctly-branded backdrop. Two more staff were overseeing operations from the northern terrace, each bedecked in an official black #fourthplinth t-shirt (complete with hashtag). I don't know what their day jobs are, but Plinthing can't be a full time role, at least not since Anthony Gormley's One and Other in 2009.

You've got until autumn next year to see Gift Horse for yourself, which is a long enough period that you probably won't need to make a special visit. And then it'll be swapped for a giant thumbs-up instead, and who knows what after that, until either King Charles unveils his mother on the Fourth Plinth, or Londoners decide they'd much rather this quirky sequence continued.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream