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Left to right: Michael Rakowitz, 'The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist' and Heather Phillips, 'THE END'
Left to right: Michael Rakowitz, 'The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist' and Heather Phillips, 'THE END'
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London's Trafalgar Square to get a Dollop of Cream and Archeological Artefact for Next Fourth Plinth Commissions

Picture of Freire Barnes
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 27 March 2018
Michael Rakowitz and Heather Phillipson were announced this morning as the winners of the next Fourth Plinth commissions in Trafalgar Square.

Following David Shrigley’s seven-metre high thumbs up sculpture, Really Good, which remains on the plinth until March 2018, Michael Rakowitz’s recreation of an archaeological artefact, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist and Heather Phillipson’s dollop of cream, THE END will take up position in 2018 and 2020 respectively.

Heather Phillipson with her proposal | © James O Jenkins
Heather Phillipson with her proposal | © James O Jenkins

‘I am delighted to announce Michael Rakowitz and Heather Phillipson as the winning artists of the next two Fourth Plinth commissions,’ said Justine Simons, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries at this morning’s announcement.

‘Over 9,000 people have had their say on what was an incredible shortlist, and it’s clear that these two hugely contrasting artworks stand out for their visual impact as well as their unique ability to make the viewer stop and think.’

Michael Rakowitz with his proposal | © James O Jenkins
Michael Rakowitz with his proposal | © James O Jenkins

Fighting off strong competition from the other shortlisted artists that included Huma Bhabha, Damián Ortega and Raqs Media Collective, Phillipson and Rakowitz’s proposals offer playful and thought-provoking approaches to contemporary issues.

Chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, Ekow Eshun said it was ‘particularly challenging’ selecting the winning commissions and congratulated both artists whose work he considers, ‘wondrous, striking and deeply engaging.’

Michael Rakowitz, 'The Invisible Enemy Should not Exist'. Photo: © James O Jenkins
Michael Rakowitz, ‘The Invisible Enemy Should not Exist’ | Photo: © James O Jenkins

Since 2006, Chicago-based Michael Rakowitz has been recreating archaeological artefacts looted from the Iraq Museum. For his proposal, Rakowitz will craft Lamassu – a winged bull and protective deity destroyed in 2015 by ISIS – out of empty Iraqi date syrup cans.

London-based Heather Phillipson wants to turn the plinth into a ‘monument to hubris and impending collapse’ with her sculpture of a cherry-topped dollop of cream being eaten by a fly that considers the instability of society.

Heather Philipson, 'The End' | Photo: © James O Jenkins
Heather Phillipson, ‘The End’ | Photo: © James O Jenkins

You can see the current Fourth Plinth commission Really Good by David Shrigley in Trafalgar Square until March 2018.

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