The next commission for the Fourth Plinth
, Powerless Structures, Fig 101, by Scandinavian artistic duo Elmgreen & Dragset will be unveiled at 09.30 on Thursday 23 February 2012 in Trafalgar Square, London.
Commissioned by the Mayor of London and supported by Arts Council England, the sculpture portrays a boy playing astride his rocking horse and will be cast in bronze.
The child is elevated to the status of a historical hero in line with the iconography of the other statues in the square. Instead of acknowledging the heroism of the powerful, however, the work celebrates the heroism of growing up and questions the tradition of monuments predicated on military victory or defeat. There is not yet a history to commemorate here only a future to hope for.
The boy's features gently mimic the authoritarian pose often found in the tradition of equestrian sculptures, but his gesture is one of pure excitement. There will be no tragic consequences resulting from his imaginary conquest.
The artists Elmgreen & Dragset said: We always considered the small everyday battles in each persons life just as important for the understanding of our culture as any big sensational headlines.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "The year that we host the greatest show on earth is an unprecedented opportunity to celebrate London's status as the cultural capital of the world. Elmgreen & Dragset have created a gleaming sculpture for the Fourth Plinth, which will be a high profile attraction during a summer like no other - with its nod to equestrianism I hope it augers well for medal glory at the 2012 Games!"
Ekow Eshun, Chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, said: "We are absolutely delighted that Elmgreen & Dragset have accepted the commission and have produced such a compelling artwork. I am very much looking forward to the unveiling next month."
Moira Sinclair, Executive Director of Arts Council England, said: The Fourth Plinth provides a unique international platform for some of the worlds finest contemporary artists, allowing them to comment on London and the world we live in. Elmgreen and Dragsets new commission maintains all the joy, intrigue and depth that we have come to expect, and gives a timely visibility to the place of the very young in our society. I hope Londoners take it to their hearts.
Michael Elmgreen (b. 1961, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (b. 1969, Norway) have been working together since 1995. They are based in London and in Berlin. They are best known for their Prada Marfa boutique in the Texan desert and The Collectors"; a contribution to the Danish and Nordic pavilions in the 2009 edition of the Venice Biennial, for which they received a Special Mention. The artistic duo has also had numerous exhibitions in London. In 2003 they became the first artists to do a project in Tate Moderns Level 2 series. In 2006 the Serpentine Gallery hosted their "Welfare Show" and in 2008 the artists collaborated with The Old Vic theatre on the play, "Drama Queens". In 2010 visitors could experience several works at the Hayward Gallery in the exhibition New Decor. In October 2013 the V&A will present a major exhibition of their work.