Cake and cockerel vie for London's empty plinth

Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:51am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Six works, including a giant Battenberg cake and a huge cockerel, are in the running to win a place on Trafalgar Square's vacant Fourth Plinth, one of the most high-profile public art commissions in the UK.

"Battenberg," by Brian Griffiths, is a huge Battenberg sponge cake made out of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary bricks from around the UK.

The pink and yellow cake was invented in 1884 to commemorate the marriage of Queen Victoria's granddaughter to Prince Louis of Battenberg, not long after the Fourth Plinth itself was erected.

"To reduce the Fourth Plinth to a cake stand, I think is an interesting proposition," Griffiths told Reuters.

Built in 1841, Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth was meant to be occupied by an equestrian statue, but was left vacant due to a shortage of funds.

Since 1998, a rolling program of often controversial artworks has used the podium.

Duo Allora and Calzadilla hope to install a working ATM cash machine inside the fourth plinth for their work: "Untitled (ATM/ Organ)."

The ATM would be hooked up to a pipe organ set on top of the plinth, so that each time a customer pressed the ATM keyboard to withdraw cash or check a bank balance, the pipe organ would play certain notes and chords.

Hew Locke's "Sikandar" is a sculpture of a horse laden with trappings: horse-brasses, charms, medals, sabers, Bactrian treasures, Hellenistic masks and jewels.   Continued...