Michael Rakowitz’s new work, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist was unveiled on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, 28 March. To celebrate the occasion, Plinth have worked with Rakowitz to produce a new limited edition, inspired by the artist's interest in themes of food and hospitality as a means by which to bridge cultural and political divides and the Arabic proverb: A House With A Date Palm Will Never Starve.
Each piece consists of a date syrup tin, sourced from Karbala in Iraq and accompanied by a signed artist’s book of recipes from chefs including Claudia Roden, Honey & Co. and Michael’s mother, Yvonne Rakowitz. The recipes all incorporate date syrup, whether peripherally or centrally; The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist is itself made of date syrup cans, alluding to the economy for a foodstuff destabilised by the war that saw the original Lamassu destroyed.
The edition constitutes a proposal to reengage with and reinvigorate the market for the syrup, as well as an invitation to a Western audience to discover a Middle Eastern cupboard staple. The work is an edition of 2,376 - the same number of Karbala cans as feature in the Fourth Plinth commission itself, and a playful invitation to the public to take a piece of it home with them.
For a limited time only, this edition is also available in a white box (pictured) signed and numbered by the artist. Please select which version you would like from the drop down list.
Please note that, due to their journey from Iraq to the UK via Chicago, some of the date tins are slightly dented. Any defects (minor) are part of the work.