Fourth Plinth Winners for 2022 and 2024: Two Bold New Artworks for London

Monday, July 25, 2022
Fourth Plinth Winners for 2022 and 2024: Two Bold New Artworks for London

The next artworks that will take pride of place on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square have been chosen. Antelope by Samson Kambalu will occupy one of the highest profile public art spaces in world from 2022, while emoji 850 Improntas’ (850 Imprints) by Teresa Margolles will be installed from 2024.

The next artworks that will take pride of place on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square have been chosen. Antelope by Samson Kambalu will occupy one of the highest profile public art spaces in world from 2022, while emoji 850 Improntas’ (850 Imprints) by Teresa Margolles will be installed from 2024.

 

Antelope by Samson Kambalu restages a 1914 photograph of Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe, and European missionary John Chorley as a sculpture. Chilembwe has his hat on, defying the colonial rule that forbade Africans from wearing hats in front of white people.

850 Improntas (850 Imprints) by Teresa Margolles features casts of the faces of 850 trans people from London and around the world. The ‘life masks’ will be arranged round the plinth in the form of a Tzompantli, a skull rack from Mesoamerican civilisations (an area covering Central Mexico to northern Costa Rica).

They were chosen from an incredibly exciting shortlist of six international artists from America, Germany, Ghana, Mexico and the UK. The winning artworks were chosen by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, chaired by Ekow Eshun. The public were invited to have their say, and the shortlist received almost 17,500 votes, showing how much the public value this opportunity to influence our public spaces. The two works will be unveiled in 2022 and 2024 respectively, following on from the current sculpture THE END by Heather Phillipson, which will remain until September 2022.

 

Antelope by Samson Kambalu

Antelope restages a photograph of Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist (belief in a unified African nation) John Chilembwe and European missionary John Chorley as a sculpture.

The photograph was taken in 1914 at the opening of Chilembwe’s new church in Nyasaland, now Malawi. Chilembwe has his hat on, defying the colonial rule that forbade Africans from wearing hats in front of white people. A year later, he led an uprising against colonial rule. Chilembwe was killed and his church, which had taken years to build, was destroyed by the colonial police.

On the plinth, Chilembwe is larger than life, while Chorley is life-size. By increasing his scale, the artist elevates Chilembwe and his story, revealing the hidden narratives of underrepresented peoples in the history of the British Empire in Africa, and beyond.

850 Improntas (850 Imprints) by Teresa Margolles

Teresa Margolles’ sculpture features casts of the faces of 850 trans people, most of whom are sex workers. She works closely with this marginalised community that sometimes is unable to access social care. The casts will be arranged round the plinth in the form of a Tzompantli, a skull rack from Mesoamerican civilisations (an area covering Central Mexico to northern Costa Rica). It was used to display the remains of war captives or sacrifice victims.

The casts will be created together with trans communities. Plaster will be applied directly onto their faces. As such, not only will their features be recorded, the material will also become infused with their hair and skin cells. London’s weather, means the work will inevitably deteriorate and fade away, leaving a kind of anti-monument behind. This will continue to command attention and put a spotlight on participants whose lives are often overlooked.

 

 

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