Get the thumb out of your... sorry, off of the Fourth Plinth – the next two sculptures to take pride of place in Trafalgar Square have just been announced. Once David Shrigley’s ‘Really Good’ giant thumb has done its time being battered by the London weather and slowly shrinking with shame at the behaviour of tourists and those floating Yodas you get in Trafalgar Square, it will be replaced by sculptures by Michael Rakowitz and Heather Phillips in 2018 and 2020, respectively.
The winners were announced this morning, pulled from a shortlist that also included a ghostly cloak by Raqs Media Collective, a burnt cork monster by Huma Bhabha and a wobbly, precariously balanced truck by Damián Ortega. I’m not saying I like some of those more than the sculptures that won, but... well, I do. But I’m not a judge. I mean, I’m a critic, sure. But not a judge. If it was up to me, the Fourth Plinth would just have a giant, permanent, solid-gold flying Yoda for all eternity that we’d all eventually start to worship as some sort of bloodthirsty god, demanding the constant ritual sacrifice of tourists with big backpacks.
The Rakowitz sculpture is from a series called ‘The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist’ where he’s attempting to recreate 7,000 objects that were looted from the Iraq Museum and subsequently destroyed. For the plinth, he’s using date syrup cans to recreate a winged god from 700BC that was destroyed by ISIS. Sweet. Get it? Because syrup cans.
Phillips’s sculpture hasn’t got the backstory, but it’s just as sweet. Because it’s a blob of cream. And the other one is syrup cans. Anyway, it’s all about the extremes of shared experience, apparently, with a big whirring drone and a cherry on top. Sweet.
Anyway, that’s something to look forward to, isn’t it? Here’s some more art.