Gift Horse: Public art and the power of money
The new Trafalgar Square fourth plinth exhibition unveiled in London
The new Trafalgar Square fourth plinth exhibition has been unveiled in London
On Thursday, March 5th, London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled Gift Horse, which is the latest in a long series of artworks to take their place on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth, left unadorned in the 19th century for lack of funding. The new sculpture is by 78-year old German artist Hans Haacke.
Haacke thought of his sculpture, and of the whole idea of the Fourth Plinth, as “occupation force take over,” reinforcing his advocacy of public galleries and art for public spaces.
Gift Horse is the skeleton of a riderless horse with a London Stock Exchange ticker attached to its leg, intended to represent the effects of the City, power and money.
According to Nichola Serota, director of Tate Gallery, “It’s clearly about the fragility of power systems and the state.”
Mayor Johnson, apparently, is not of the same opinion as the director of Tate Gallery, judging by his comments to Channel 4. “I don’t think it’s in a position of excessive power there”, he said.
This is Gift Horse while being unveiled…
And this is Gift Horse unveiled from the side of the square:
The rolling exhibition has been on since 2005. Gift Horse will grace passersby with its intimidating presence for roughly a year.