The finalists for the Fourth Plinth for 2018 and 2020 have been launched at the end of January this year, and they are on display at the National Gallery until 26 March. The winners will have their artwork displayed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square for a couple of years. Visitors can vote for their favourite sculpture. In 2013, a similar unveiling of the finalists took place with the two winners having their designs displayed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. I covered this in my blog post here, and the designs from that year included the current Fourth Plinth design (Really Good) and a skeleton horse.
This time, we have five different commissions.
Michael Rakowitz: The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist
A winged bull diety used to exist at the entrance of the date of Nineveh from 700BC until February of 2015 when it was destroyed by terrorist group ISIS along with other important artefacts and the museum. This was a destruction of art, history, and culture. This work rebuilds the Lamassu winged bull.
Damian Ortega: High Way
Inspired by public sculptures being created on a monumental scale to be seen from a distance, this work features an imbalance. The objects include a Volkswagen van, ladders, scaffolding and oil drums. These are imbalanced and raised high, showing that these everyday objects can be used to create art when the budget is tight.
Heather Phillipson: The End
The cherry and cream on top features parasites (a fly and a drone) perched on top. This also relates to Trafalgar Square being a shared experience where protests can happen and people come together. The work offers movement, noise, technology, and video.
Huma Bhabha: Untitled
Bhabha explains that the work begins with a process of revealing the concepts buried in the materials. In this piece, the artist finds a science fiction character or superhero. It is made of cork and polystyrene.
Raqs Media Collective: The Emperor's Old Clothes
The artists conceptualised that plinths are created to elevate powerful people. This sculpture depicts draped robe as a reminder of power, empty echoing the clothed figure.
Previous Fourth Plinth installations that materialised into reality include:
2016: Really Good
2015: A horse skeleton with a stock ticker tape
2014: A giant blue rooster
2012: A boy on a rocking horse
2011: Ships in a bottle
2009: members of the public were encouraged to do their own 'thing' on the plinth
2005: limbless pregnant female