Cheers to GMG for bringing this sculpture (landmark) to our attention.
The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement fought by the (British) Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during the War of the Third Coalition (August–December 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).
Cockfighting sports is very important sports for the British, the French, and the Spanish.
- UK: cockfighting sports and culture is alive (even if cockfighters are oppressed since the ban in 1849)
- France: cockfighting sports and culture is a freedom
- Spain: cockfighting sports and culture is a freedom
– Gameness til the End
MEGAN WILLETT JUL. 26, 2013, 4:20 PM 5,430
A 15-foot blue rooster was unveiled in central London’s Trafalgar Square today.
Rising up amid the serious military monuments and statues of British heroes, the playful statue is by German artist Katharina Fritsch and is appropriately titled “Hahn/Cock.”
The rooster currently perches on the vacant “Fourth Plinth” — which has been the location of a series of artworks lately — and should probably just stay there forever.
By Agence France PressePosted: 07/25/2013 3:54 pm EDT
LONDON (AFP) — A huge blue cockerel descended upon London’s Trafalgar Square on Thursday, but the artwork has ruffled feathers by putting the symbol of France in a site marking a famous British victory over Napoleon.
Standing 4.7 metres (15.5 feet) tall and coloured a vivid ultramarine, the fibreglass rooster was sculpted by German artist Katharina Fritsch and will watch over the famous square for 18 months.
Titled Hahn/Cock, it was officially unveiled by London’s Mayor Boris Johnson — who said he would try to refrain from making any rude “double entendres” about the erection of a giant cockerel at the London landmark.
“I just had an emergency briefing from the brilliant artist, Katharina,” he joked.
“She said it was all to do with a woman’s rendition of a man… or something like that. I think it’s one of those occasions where politicians have to resist any kind of artistic interpretation.”
It is the latest artwork to stand on the tourist hotspot’s “Fourth Plinth”.
Fritsch, 57, has said she did not know the cockerel was an unofficial French symbol, and that she intended it to represent strength and regeneration.
“But it’s a nice humorous side-effect to have something French in a place that celebrates victory over Napoleon,” she told the Guardian newspaper, adding: “He has come back as a cockerel!”
Trafalgar Square is named after the victory of the British Royal Navy over the French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, a key conflict in the Napoleonic Wars.
The cockerel will be sited on the other side of the square from Nelson’s Column, a monument commemorating the English naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was killed during the battle.
A group of conservationists had tried to get the bird banned from the square, saying it was “totally inappropriate, however fanciful and dramatic it might appear to be”.
There are four large stone plinths at each corner of Trafalgar Square, three of which bear statues. The fourth was supposed to hold a statue of a horse commissioned in 1841, but due to insufficient funds it was never completed.
Since 1998 the fourth plinth has been used to showcase temporary pieces of art, and has so far hosted works including a giant ship in a bottle and a huge nude statue of the English artist Alison Lapper, who was born without arms, during her pregnancy.
By Mathilde Hamel
on July 25 2013 3:53 PM
The sculpture of a giant blue rooster was inaugurated by London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, on Trafalgar Square in London on Thursday. It soon sparked controversy as the rooster is one of the symbols of France, and historical events between the two countries are still in everybody’s memory. AP Photo/Andy Rain, Pool
What is electric blue, 4.7 meters (15 feet) in height, and will remain for 18 months on a sculpture platform at Trafalgar Square, London? A giant ultramarine rooster!
On Thursday, London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, introduced to the public the latest piece of contemporary artwork joining the famous square, a large rooster called “Hahn/Cock” – “Hahn” meaning rooster in German – by the German artist Katharina Fritsch.
“Katharina Fritsch commands tremendous respect internationally, and her giant blue bird will provide a striking new focal as well as talking point for Londoners and tourists alike,” Johnson said during the unveiling ceremony.
But, if the mayor is rejoicing at the presence this new sculpture on the Fourth Plinth, others are more skeptical. Thorney Island Society, an organization created to protect London landmarks, said the indigo bird was “totally inappropriate” and “nothing but a feeble attraction.”
A major issue with the rooster lies with the fact that as Trafalgar Square is dominated by a statue of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson — who defeated the combined French and Spanish forces of Napoleon at Trafalgar in 1805 — one of Britain’s greatest military heroes. And the gallinaceous bird is French … or sort of. For centuries, the Gallic rooster has been one of the symbols of France stretching all the way back to antiquity during the reign of the Roman Empire.
To this day, the bird remains an important presence in the lives of the French — for example, it was used as the mascot of the 1998 FIFA World Cup tournament and is part of brand names like Le Coq Sportif (which would literally translate as “the sportive rooster”).
“I’m sure if this gets planning permission, it will cause quite a stir, particularly because it will be placed under the gaze of Admiral Lord Nelson,” said Robert Davis, the deputy leader of the Westminster Council, to the London Evening Standard in May, when the rooster sculpture was first announced. “I do wonder what Nelson’s reaction would have been after returning home from battle only to be greeted by the French emblem standing proudly in the center of London.”
The Thorney Island Society decided to file a planning complaint. “We cannot see any logical reason for the proposed sculpture to be placed on the fourth plinth,” wrote the Society in the application. “It is unrelated to the context of Trafalgar Square.”
For many locals, having the bird staring at Admiral Nelson is tantamount to a diplomatic affront.
In addition, the German artist Fritsch used the color electric blue – although others argue that she actually used the International Klein Blue, created by the French artist Yves Klein. Moreover, the color blue just happens to be another symbol of France – but she claimed she never thought about “the French thing” in the first place, in an interview with The Guardian.
Indeed, she had another idea in mind with the sexual double entendre of the sculpture’s title.
“It’s about male posing, about showing power, about showing … erections! I mean, look at that column [Admiral Nelson’s column]!” she said to The Guardian.
Mayor Johnson spun his own take on the rooster’s color. “It seems to be a very confident sort of bird,” he said. “I think that in some way it expresses something about our city and the general mood of confidence that I detect since the Olympics. It’s the correct color for a boy, which we’ve just had: We’ve just had a prince,” referring to the recent royal birth of Prince George.
The blue rooster will stay on the fourth plinth for the next year and a half. The plinth was supposed to support a statue of William IV of England on his horse, but it was never completed. For years now, the plinth now serves as a platform for the exhibition of contemporary artwork that is changed every 18 months.
As the rooster has not started a diplomatic incident yet, the British are going to have to do with the big blue bird. There is one advantage though … there is no chance of people being woken up early in the morning by the rooster’s crowing.
Some Londoners are dismayed by the unveiling of a classic French emblem in the capital’s Trafalgar Square on Thursday. The cockerel is a symbol of France – and the artist behind “Cock” intended the sexual double entendre.
By FRANCE 24
London’s Trafalgar Square on Thursday will see the unveiling of a giant blue cockerel (rooster) as a temporary artwork on the square’s formerly empty “fourth plinth”.
When the 4.7 metre electric blue sculpture – titled “Hahn/Cock” – was announced in May it caused some upset among conservation groups.
The Thorney Island Society, which fights to protect London’s landmarks, launched a planning complaint against the installation when it was announced in May, calling it “totally inappropriate” and “nothing but a feeble distraction”
“We cannot see any logical reason for the proposed sculpture to be placed on the fourth plinth,” the society wrote in it’s application to have the installation blocked. “It is unrelated to the context of Trafalgar Square.”
The famed square is dominated by the statue of British war hero Admiral Horatio Nelson, an effigy of whom stands at the top of a 52 metre column in the middle of the square, and named after a British victory over the French. Nelson led the British fleet that decisively beat the French Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He was killed in the climax of the battle.
Robert Davis, deputy leader of the Westminster Council, told London’s Evening Standard: “I’m sure if this gets planning permission, it will cause quite a stir, particularly because it will be placed under the gaze of Admiral Lord Nelson … I do wonder what Nelson’s reaction would have been after returning home from battle only to be greeted by the French emblem standing proudly in the centre of London.’
Deliberate double entendre
Not only is the cockerel France’s national symbol, but German artist Katharina Fritsch admits her sculpture’s title (“hahn”, German for “cock”, carries the same double meaning as in English) is a deliberate play on words.
“It’s a nice humorous side-effect to have something French in a place that celebrates victory over Napoleon,” she told the Guardian newspaper.
As for the sexual double entendre, she said of Trafalgar Square: “It’s about male posing, about showing power, about showing … erections! I mean, look at that column!”
Fritsch’s Cock will stand proud in Trafalgar Square for 18 months.
The “fourth plinth” was originally intended to support a statue of William IV of England on horseback, but the sculpture was never completed and the plinth remained empty for 150 years.
In 1999 a series of temporary artworks were exhibited, and the plinth is now a permanent exhibition stand for contemporary artworks which are changed every 18 months.
By Farah Nayeri – Jul 25, 2013 5:01 AM CT
A giant blue rooster was inaugurated today by Mayor of London Boris Johnson on a sculpture platform in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Katharina Fritsch’s “Hahn/Cock,” an ultramarine cockerel meant to symbolize male-dominated Britain, became the most recent artwork to occupy the Fourth Plinth.
“Hahn/Cock” by Katharina Fritsch.
The work was one of six proposals for the Fourth Plinth
in Trafalgar Square and later selected for display.
Photographer: James O. Jenkins/Bolton & Quinn via Bloomberg
Katharina Fritsch’s “Hahn/Cock”
became the most recent artwork to occupy
the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.
The ultramarine cockerel is meant to symbolize male-dominated Britain.
Photographer: Farah Nayeri, Bloomberg News.
The blue rooster by Katharina Fritsch,
inaugurated by Mayor of London Boris Johnson
on a sculpture platform in London’s Trafalgar Square.
The German-born artist said it was not specifically a French bird
and represented male domination.
Photographer: Farah Nayeri, Bloomberg News.
Trafalgar Square is named after Admiral Horatio Nelson’s defeat of the French Navy in the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar. The square’s only vacant plinth is periodically filled by the winner of an art contest organized by the mayor.
“It seems to be a very confident sort of bird,” Johnson said. “I think that in some way it expresses something about our city and the general mood of confidence that I detect since the Olympics.”
“It’s the correct color for a boy, which we’ve just had: We’ve just had a prince,” said Johnson, referring to the birth this week of Prince William’s son George.
The sculpture is glass coated resin, 4.7 meters (15 feet) in size and will be on plinth for 18 months.
“I am making an image of a male animal,” the German-born artist said. “Women are getting more and more into the active role, they determine things, they make their way.”
“They also create images of men,” she said, recalling that women in the past were mostly the muses of male artists, and not creating work themselves. “This is now the other way around.”
The plinth’s previous occupant was artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset’s bronze effigy of a boy on a rocking horse. Titled “Powerless Structures Fig. 101,” it went up in February 2012 – – the year of the London Olympic Games — and was kept on until earlier this month.
In 2009, sculptor Antony Gormley had 2,400 volunteers appear on the platform for 100 days as part of his project “One & Other.”
And from May 2010 through January 2012, artist Yinka Shonibare produced a replica of Admiral Nelson’s vessel which he set inside a bottle and fitted with sails made of patterned African-style textiles.
Muse highlights include Jason Harper on cars, Rich Jaroslovsky on tech and Richard Vines on food.