Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said that the plinth will still be used for transient works, as it has been since 1999.
Yesterday, the artist Samson Kambalu’s monument of anti-colonialist John Chilembwe, dubbed Antelope, became the newest resident of the Trafalgar Square corner.
It recreates an image taken in 1914 at the dedication of Chilembwe’s new church in Nyasaland, which is now Malawi, in which the preacher is shown standing next to missionary John Chorley wearing a hat in defiance of a colonial regulation prohibiting Africans from doing so.
In 1915, Chilembwe staged a rebellion against the British before being assassinated soon after.
The colonial police tore down his church, which had taken years to construct.
‘Many people may not know who John Chilembwe is,’ said Kambalu, an associate professor of fine art at the University of Oxford, adding that he was ‘happy’ to be able to spread Chilembwe’s message of striving for a better society. And that is the whole purpose.
According to the artist, before the uprising, he took a photo of himself and a friend wearing hats while simply standing side by side. He then distributed this photo among his supporters as a statement of political equality, saying, “We are equal to white people so I can wear a hat in front of a white person”. Naturally, he passed away a few months later, but his message endured.
According to Kambalu, the name Antelope references to the Malawian Chewa people’s mask tradition, which is a sign of generosity.
He went on to say, “So he’s not just suggesting equality and injustice, he’s really proposing a radical economy smack in the center of the Empire.”
Kambalu, a 47-year-old artist from Malawi, is an associate professor at the Ruskin School of Art and a Fellow of Magdelen College at Oxford University.
He earned his degree in fine art from Nottingham Trent University after leaving the University of Malawi in 1999, and he then wrote a PhD at the Chelsea College of Art and Design.
It was suggested that a permanent statue of Her Majesty be built on the fourth plinth to honor Britain’s longest-reigning monarch after the Queen passed away earlier this month.
The plinth was originally designed to support a statue of William IV, but it was never finished, leaving the plot vacant from the 19th through the end of the 20th centuries.
The office of Sadiq Khan has rejected claims that it may be utilized for the Queen.
According to a Mr. Khan representative, “new works by top artists will continue to be shown on the fourth plinth for the foreseeable future.”
For the next four years, there are scheduled fourth plinth displays.
According to The Telegraph, “Samson Kambalu’s latest commission, Antelope, was revealed today and will remain in place until September 2024.”
They did, however, add that the Mayor would be in favor of placing an Elizabeth II monument somewhere in London.
The Greater London Authority is ready to help the Royal Family in their desires, the spokesman added. “A statue of the Queen in an appropriate place in London is a matter for the Royal Family to decide.”
The artist anticipates that the 850 castings of transsexual sex workers on the fourth plinth will fall apart in the rain.
After defeating four other artists, Teresa Margolles’ piece “850 Improntas” and Kambalu’s sculpture will be shown together.
For Fourth Plinth commissions, Paloma Varga Weisz, Ibrahim Mahama, Goshka Macuga, and Nicole Eisenman have also made the short list.
But Margolles, a forensic pathologist by training, thinks her sculpture will fall apart in the rain. According to the Guardian, she anticipates the artwork will decay and vanish, leaving a “sort of anti-monument.”»Sadiq says no Queen Elizabeth monument ‘for the foreseeable future’«