Mayor of London unveils new work by Michael Rakowitz on fourth plinth

Mayor of London unveils new work by Michael Rakowitz on fourth plinth

The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist

Michael Rakowitz’s new work The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist was unveiled on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square today, Wednesday 28 March, by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist is a project that Rakowitz started in 2006. It attempts to recreate more than 7,000 objects looted from the Iraq Museum in 2003 or destroyed at archaeological sites across the country in the aftermath of the war. For the Fourth Plinth Rakowitz has recreated the Lamassu, a winged bull and protective deity that stood at the entrance to Nergal Gate of Nineveh (near modern day Mosul) from c 700 B.C, until it was destroyed by ISIS in 2015. It will be the 12th work to appear on the Fourth Plinth since the commissioning programme began in 1998, and will be on the plinth until March 2020.

The reconstructions in The Invisible Enemy are made from recycled food packaging, similar to the reliefs at the base of Nelson’s Column being made from canons salvaged from the wreck of HMS Royal George. The Lamassu is made of 10,500 empty Iraqi date syrup cans, representative of a once-renowned industry decimated by the Iraq Wars.

Artist Michael Rakowitz said:
“This work is unveiled in Trafalgar Square at a time when we are witnessing a massive migration of people fleeing Iraq and Syria. I see this work as a ghost of the original, and as a placeholder for those human lives that cannot be reconstructed, that are still searching for sanctuary.”

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said:
“I am delighted to unveil this new work by Michael Rakowitz, the next sculpture to be featured on the Fourth Plinth – the world’s most famous public art platform. Michael’s work shows the power of art to bring to life politics, cultures and personal stories from around the world and across generations.”

Ekow Eshun, Chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, said:
"Michael Rakowitz has created a powerful, timely artwork that reaches back through history to offer pertinent commentary on the world today. I’m sure it will become a new landmark for London. Michael was chosen from the most international shortlist for the Fourth Plinth to date, demonstrating our commitment to bringing the work of leading national and international artists to London."

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, said:
“There’s a real buzz whenever we unveil a new work for the Fourth Plinth. Londoners and visitors to the capital are always excited to see what will be on the plinth next. Michael’s work, the twelfth piece to be unveiled on the site, is both beautiful and thought-provoking. It will be seen by millions of people in the heart of the capital and is testament to the enduring appeal of the world’s most high-profile public art space.”

To coincide with the unveiling, Rakowitz is creating a limited-edition artwork using date syrup tins sourced from Karbala in Iraq. Each is accompanied by a book of date syrup recipes, including contributions from chef Claudia Roden, Middle Eastern restaurant Honey & Co., and the artist’s mother, Yvonne Rakowitz. A new range of products from design company Plinth and the Mayor of London will accompany the work, inspired by the use of food in Rakowitz’s art as a way of bridging cultural and political divides. It includes tote bags, wooden spoons and aprons, and the items feature the Arabic proverb: A House With A Date Palm Will Never Starve. A portion of the profits from the merchandise sales will be given to support the Mayor of London’s educational projects. These will be available at a pop-up in Trafalgar Square on the 28 March, and online at plinth.uk.com.

Michael Rakowitz was born in New York in 1973 and lives and works in Chicago, where he is professor at Northwestern University. His first museum survey Backstroke of the West was at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2017/18. Rakowitz’s work explores global issues and invites others into the conversations fostered by his public projects, installations and events.




Back

 


search

 

 

Quantcast



Archives

April 2018 (9)
March 2018 (12)
February 2018 (12)
January 2018 (18)
December 2017 (8)
November 2017 (15)
October 2017 (17)
September 2017 (14)
August 2017 (18)
July 2017 (10)
June 2017 (12)
May 2017 (12)
April 2017 (15)
March 2017 (15)
February 2017 (22)
January 2017 (13)
December 2016 (9)
November 2016 (14)
October 2016 (11)
September 2016 (19)
August 2016 (13)
July 2016 (11)
June 2016 (16)
May 2016 (19)
April 2016 (17)
March 2016 (9)
February 2016 (15)
January 2016 (14)
December 2015 (7)
November 2015 (15)
October 2015 (12)
September 2015 (5)
August 2015 (12)
July 2015 (16)
June 2015 (9)
May 2015 (15)
April 2015 (11)
March 2015 (16)
February 2015 (14)
January 2015 (14)
December 2014 (13)
November 2014 (15)
October 2014 (18)
September 2014 (14)
August 2014 (10)
July 2014 (14)
June 2014 (13)
May 2014 (22)
April 2014 (12)
March 2014 (12)
February 2014 (16)
January 2014 (19)
December 2013 (14)
November 2013 (175)
October 2013 (17)
September 2013 (20)
August 2013 (15)
July 2013 (6)
June 2013 (14)
May 2013 (17)
April 2013 (17)
March 2013 (16)
February 2013 (14)
January 2013 (16)
December 2012 (8)
November 2012 (20)
October 2012 (22)
September 2012 (17)
August 2012 (17)
July 2012 (22)
June 2012 (13)
May 2012 (20)
April 2012 (16)
March 2012 (28)
February 2012 (15)
January 2012 (17)
December 2011 (34)
November 2011 (24)
October 2011 (14)
September 2011 (39)
August 2011 (39)
July 2011 (35)
June 2011 (22)
May 2011 (22)
April 2011 (23)
March 2011 (18)
February 2011 (20)
January 2011 (37)
December 2010 (40)
November 2010 (41)
October 2010 (31)
September 2010 (96)
August 2010 (36)
July 2010 (35)
June 2010 (83)
May 2010 (167)
April 2010 (42)
March 2010 (68)
February 2010 (40)
January 2010 (66)
December 2009 (60)
November 2009 (38)
October 2009 (69)
September 2009 (66)
August 2009 (49)
July 2009 (55)
June 2009 (55)
May 2009 (65)
April 2009 (55)
March 2009 (68)
February 2009 (54)
January 2009 (62)
December 2008 (51)
November 2008 (43)
October 2008 (72)
September 2008 (89)
August 2008 (56)
July 2008 (77)
June 2008 (67)
May 2008 (65)
April 2008 (26)
March 2008 (22)