Posts Tagged ‘Fourth Plinth’

Our year in London came to an end much too quickly! I felt like I was just hitting my stride as an expat in London but the real world caught up with us and it was back to the Washington DC area in August.

The last few weeks were truly a whirlwind and I still have many updates to share about our time there. We enjoyed all London had to offer up to the last possible moment. My choice for our family’s “last days in London” to do list was to see the newly erected Hahn/Cock on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. It’s a fun piece of artwork and I’m thrilled I got to see it in person. I love the bold blue color against all the gray buildings in the square.

The plaque on the fourth plinth states:

Hahn/Cock 2013 by Katharina Fitcsh b.1956 in Essen, Germany
Hahn/Cock is a sculpture of a familiar domestic cockerel in ultramarine blue, made from glass fibre reinforced polyester resin and fixed on a stainless-steel supporting structure. It is 4.7 metres high and weighs over 800 kg.

Blue Cock II

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On this crisp, sunny London day, my friend, Leslie and I snagged a front row seat on the upper level double-decker bus from Oxford Circus to Trafalgar Square.  A fun ride and just like riding the “hop-on, hop-off” bus without the hefty price and chatter. We were on our way to a wonderful art exhibit called “Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument” at Institute of Contemporary Arts.

In Trafalgar Square, there are four large plinths (definition of plinth = a block or slab on which a pedestal, column, or statue is placed) and one of the plinths has been empty until as recently as 1999. Since then, the Mayor’s office commissions modern artwork to display on a rotating basis.

Originally, the 4th plinth was supposed to hold the statue of King William IV but it was never installed.  The exhibit showed the model sized version of the artwork which have graced the 4th plinth to include video of Antony Gormley’s “One and Other” in which 2,400 people took turns on top of the plinth for one hour each and they could do whatever they wanted ~ some nakedness was involved.  Also on display are newspaper articles and opinion surveys.   Currently artwork by Elmgreen & Dragset called “Powerless Structures” is on the 4th plinth:

Rocking Boy

I love the Golden Boy and it’s a perfect representation of the “golden time” London is currently enjoying having had the Diamond Jubilee and the very successful Olympics this year. As I’ve researched more about the 4th plinth, it seems there’s a lot of controversy surrounding the idea of using it as a “stage” rather than putting a permanent artpiece there or leaving it empty.  My vote would be to continue the rotating artwork as it certainly has generated interest, reactions and lets everyone be an “art critic.”

Below is a photo of Logan in Trafalgar Square last August when we first arrived.  If you look over her right shoulder, in the far background, you can see the 4th plinth with the Golden Boy on the Rocking Horse.

Trafalgar Square

If you’re interested in visiting the exhibit, here are the pertinent details:

  • Free entrance (£3 suggested donation)
  • On display until 20 January 2013
  • Located at Institute of Contemporary Art, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
  • Opening Hours are 11am to 11pm Tuesdays through Sunday
  • There are several speaking events in conjunction with the exhibit, for more information go here

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