Story of April, 2018

Iraqi ancient winged bull resurrected on London's Fourth Plinth

The recreation of Iraqi ancient winged bull in London

“The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist” is a sculpture of a Lamassu, which was created in the ancient Mesopotamian city in 700 BCE, a mythological Assyrian winged bull creature with the head of a man that stood guard over the city of Nineveh for over a thousand years until it was destroyed by war.

A recreation of this ancient statue has been unveiled as the latest installation at the famous Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square by the Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz, where the Fourth Plinth has provided an ever-changing free exhibition space since the first artwork appeared in 1999.

Raskowitz’s Invisible Enemy is one of the most overtly political and striking works to take the stand, a timely statement of defiance against global terror from a city that has withstood several devastating attacks in recent years and remains unbowed. (By the independent)

This statue is all created with date syrup from the 10,500 colourful cans in the sculpture, where the date industry was second only to the oil trade, but only an estimated 10% remain of the 30m date trees that flourished before the Iraq war. (By the guardian)

“The salvage of date syrup cans in this work makes present the human, economic and ecological disasters caused by the Iraq wars and their aftermath,” he said in a speech just before the sculpture was unveiled. “The reconstruction of the Lamassu set on the Fourth Plinth allows an apparition to haunt Trafalgar Square at a time when we are witnessing a massive migration of people fleeing Iraq and Syria. I see this work as a ghost of the original and as a placeholder for those human lives that cannot be reconstructed, that are still searching for sanctuary.”  (By the Art Newspaper)

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