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Giant child on a rocking horse by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset unveiled in Trafalgar Square today
The newly-unveiled sculpture by artist duo Michael Elmgreen, of Denmark, and Ingar Dragset, of Norway, is seen on the Fourth Plinth in central London's Trafalgar Square, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. The 4.1m high golden sculpture of a young boy riding a rocking horse is entitled: 'Powerless Structures, Fig. 101'. The plinth was originally built to house a bronze equestrian statue of William IV that was never installed. The project is commissioned by the Mayor of London as part of the rolling programme of contemporary art commissions for the empty Fourth Plinth. AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis.
LONDON.- The new commission for the Fourth Plinth, Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset, was unveiled today in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Commissioned by the Mayor of London and supported by Arts Council England, AlixPartners and Louis Vuitton, the 4.1m high golden bronze sculpture portrays a boy astride his rocking horse.

Built in 1841, the Northwest Plinth was originally designed to host a bronze equestrian statue of King William IV by Sir Charles Barry, which was never installed. After more than 170 years, Elmgreen & Dragset have completed the process by presenting a new take on the tradition of equestrian statues, directly engaging with the history of the plinth itself.

The child is elevated to the status of a historical hero in line with the existing 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. The image of a young boy astride his rocking horse encourages viewers to consider the less spectacular events in their lives, which are often the most important. The sculpture invokes life’s everyday activities and questions the tradition of monuments predicated on military victory or defeat.

In Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 there is not yet a history to commemorate – only a future to hope for. The boy's features gently mimic the authoritarian pose often found in the tradition of equestrian statues, but his gestures represent pure excitement. There will be no tragic consequences resulting from his imaginary conquest.

Elmgreen & Dragset said, “Now that the sculpture is unveiled it is up to the public to love or hate it, hopefully not ignore it! The boy on his rocking horse will have a fascinating viewpoint throughout 2012 as Trafalgar Square will host all kinds of events; everything from school children dancing in pink leggings for Big Dance, to Chinese New Year or giant film screenings during the Olympics. Trafalgar Square is one of the liveliest parts of London - that’s what makes it so exciting for us and such a huge honour to show our work here.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, "The unique artworks that bestride the Fourth Plinth are amongst the many reasons why London is internationally renowned for culture, a vital part of our economy that creates jobs and attracts millions of visitors from around the world. I personally am always excited to see what the latest offering will be and the newest addition is simply magnificent. It seems fitting to have such a gleaming talisman to watch over our city during this fantastic Olympic year – it hopefully will bring us luck in the medal tables this summer!”



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Giant child on a rocking horse by artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset unveiled in Trafalgar Square today

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