Whipped Cream And Other Delights: Fourth Plinth Goes Soft Serve

Heather Phillipson

A giant soft-serve dollop of whipped cream topped with a cherry, a fly and a drone by Heather Phillipson will grace the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square central London for the next year two years.

The End is exuberant, uneasy and suggests hubris and impending collapse

From 26 March, Heather Phillipson’s sculpture, titled THE END, will be unveiled competing with the Yodas and pigeons. Its drone will transmit a live feed of the square, which can be watched on a dedicated website. 

Heather Phillipson,Fourth Plinth,The End
Heather Phillipson Fourth Plinth The End

THE END by artist Heather Phillipson will be the 13th sculpture since the commissioning programme began in 1998, following on from The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz, which is currently in situ.

 Exuberant, uneasy and suggesting hubris and impending collapse, THE END responds to Trafalgar Square as a site of mass gathering, celebration, protest and personal broadcast, shared with other forms of creaturely life. The live feed of Trafalgar Square picked up by the drone’s camera is visible to passers-by on a dedicated website, giving a sculpture’s eye perspective. The work will occupy the plinth until March 2022.

Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, said: “This is an outstanding new work by Heather Phillipson. At first, it seems playful, but this sugary swirl has an unexpected twist, as a drone’s camera will be watching us watching it. It will spark a conversation about contemporary art and help us think about the Fourth Plinth in a whole new way, continuing its legacy of putting world-class contemporary culture in the heart of London.”

Heather Phillipson works across video, sculpture, web projects, music, drawing and poetry. She has been selected as the next artist for the Duveen Galleries commission at Tate Britain (16 June -18 October 2020). Her recent solo projects include new commissions for Sharjah Biennial 14 and the Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (both 2019), Art on the Underground’s flagship site at Gloucester Road, an online work for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and a major solo show at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (all in 2018). Phillipson received the Film London Jarman Award in 2016, the European Short Film Festival selection from the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018 and is also an award-winning poet.

A new monograph of work by Heather Phillipson will be published to coincide with the unveiling of the plinth, covering significant exhibitions, public commissions and a selection of Phillipson’s own writing from the last decade. It will be co-published in spring 2020 by Prestel Publishing Limited and Art on the Underground and in partnership with the GLA and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

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