There’s a skeleton in Trafalgar Square.
Since 1999 the plinth in the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square has been used as a temporary location for a series of artworks. Remember the blue chicken which was the subject of my 2013 blogpost? Last month the chicken was replaced by Hans Haacke’s “Gift Horse”.
Here is the description of Gift Horse from the Mayor of London’s website.
“Hans Haacke’s Gift Horse depicts a skeletal, riderless horse – a wry comment on the equestrian statue of William IV originally planned for the plinth.
Tied to the horse’s front leg is an electronic ribbon displaying live the ticker of the London Stock Exchange, completing the link between power, money and history.
The horse is derived from an etching by George Stubbs; the famous English painter whose works are represented in the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square.”
I loved the chicken, but Gift Horse does something that previous plinthworks didn’t – it complements and enhances one of the older statues in the square. Gift Horse is the best thing to happen to King George the Fourth and his horse since they rode on to the neighbouring plinth in 1843.
Finally, here is one more photo from Trafalgar Square, with my camera at maximum zoom. I guess everyone knows that the column in the middle of the square is topped by Admiral Horatio Nelson, the British Naval officer who died in 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar. But have you ever seen Nelson close up? Or wondered why he has a rope up there with him? Maybe it’s for abseiling down again.