‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 101′ On The Fourth Plinth

The latest artwork on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, a 4.1m, two tonne bronze statue of a boy on a rocking horse, was unveiled this morning.

Named Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, the statue is the fifth in the series of artworks since the project was re-launched in 2005, and the second in succession to respond to its surroundings. The plinth was originally intended to support an equestrian statue of William IV, and the artists behind Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, describe it as a critique of “monuments predicated on military victory or defeat”.

On first impression, the artwork is perhaps a little underwhelming. The figure’s bronze hues blend into the colours of the National Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing, so when viewed from around the square it lacks the attention-demanding impact of more recent efforts, such as Yinka Shonibare’s Ship in a Bottle. At closer inspection, however, it would take a hard heart not to be won over by the boy’s impish expression.

Powerless Structures, Fig 101 is on display until late 2013, when it will be replaced by an ultramarine cock.

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