the fourth plinth

The Fourth PlinthI’m a big fan of the fourth plinth. No, not Dan Brown’s new novel, the empty plinth in trafalagar square, erected in 1841 for a statue that never got built.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best showcase for public art in london, and has been host to some brilliant pieces in the past, including Mark Wallinger’s Christ figure, and Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper pregnant, both sculptures that quietly subverted the colonial grandeur of trafalgar square.

So, passing the square the other day on the bus, I was quite excited to see a big sheet over the plinth, and that evening, coming back, the new commission was in place. And here it is:

This is Thomas Schutte’s ‘Model for a hotel 2007’, made of coloured glass. The press release says it’s a utopian architectural vision that is “multi-layered, mysterious, and promising to sparkle like a brightly-coloured jewel.”

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Now, I’m no stranger to utopian architectural vision, but try as I might, what it reminds me of most is Rotastak’s ‘space command unit’ for hamsters, a “fantastic space themed unit that has all the necessary components to provide out of this world housing for your pet.”

Perhaps I’ll warm to it.