Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

-Look Up, Look Down Challenge, Week 80

Every Thursday, I publish a post containing photos taken from above or below, and invite you to join in the challenge by posting your own images with an up or down perspective.


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The Blue Cock has gone and the latest fourth plinth work has arrived.

Given that this plinth was originally intended to support an equestrian statue of William IV, it is perhaps appropriate that the latest modern piece is a horse.

The 4.57 metre tall bronze horse, weighing in at 1700 kg, and based on an etching by George Stubbs, is the work of German artist, Hans Haacke.

It is not, however, entirely what you’d expect from that initial description; “Gift Horse” is a huge, somewhat sinister skeleton horse.  Around its raised leg, rotates an electronic FTSE 100 ticker from the London Stock Exchange.

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Haacke has a reputation for politically overt works, even having one work banned from the Guggenheim for being too political.  The Gift Horse would seem to attack the current system of austerity, though the artist was keen to leave it open to interpretation when interviewed after the unveiling last week.

What is more certain, is that Mayor Boris Johnson’s interpretation is not the correct one: “In those fabulous tubular structures you will see symbolised the vital infrastructure … The tubular structures that have received such fantastic investment thanks to our chancellor… and indeed playing a part in the greatest economic recovery this city has ever seen, and the driving force of the UK and indeed [the] European economy.”

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The Challenge

Click here to enter the challenge

Welcome to week 80 and a huge thank you to all who participated last week.  Special thanks go to Klara for sharing her beautiful shot of the Belém Tower – a beloved part of one of my favourite cities, Lisbon.

All are welcome to join this challenge; do please share your up or down perspective with us.  Simply create your own post as normal, create a link to this challenge and click above to enter your link and view other entries.  If you have any difficulties with the linky, please just leave your link in a comment below and I will upload your thumbnail.

Finally, please don’t forget to go and visit the other challengers and pass on your views and encouragement.

To find out more about how to enter, click here.  The linky list will open each Thursday at 00:01 GMT (or a bit before) and will normally be open for one week.

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Posted by Debbie Smyth, 11 March 2015aDSC_0636_pp

9 thoughts on “Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

  1. This is a quite a sculpture! And to be based on an etching…even more interesting. Sorry I am late posting… I had the link to you up a week ago …and forgot to visit…busy week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha!
      I’m not sure if like it or not yet – it’s rather harsh. I shall be back to see it again and I think I may have happier feelings about it when I see it in sunshine 🙂


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