March 5th, 2015

The most overtly political sculpture on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth since it was given over to contemporary art has been unveiled in central London.

Gift Horse, by the German-American artist Hans Haacke, features an LED bow showing a ticker of the latest London stock prices tied round the bronze skeleton of a horse. It is being seen as a symbol of the ravages of the market.

London’s pro-City mayor, Boris Johnson, made light of the anti-capitalist work at Thursday’s unveiling, two months before the general election.

“There will be those who say that this undeniably underfed beast … is a symbol of the excessive pursuit of austerity and the [chancellor] George-Osborne-diet approach to life. But I say absolutely not,” Johnson said.

The mayor added his own tongue-in-cheek interpretation of “this emaciated quadruped” after some had expressed surprise that he had not vetoed it before it was given an 18-month stint on the plinth. He said: “In those fabulous tubular structures you will see symbolised the vital infrastructure – the tube that must run beneath the surface of any great and beautiful city…

Writes Matthew Weaver in The Guardian

Link to the full article here / Link to The Guardian here

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