Same Durant: Proposal for Public Fountain, 2013
Gallery Statement: This art exhibition in London focuses on a fountain sculpted from fine, black marble – a prototype for a larger installation in a public setting – together with a series of related graphite drawings. The harsh structure of the piece features a reproduction of an armoured water cannon, which repeatedly sprays jets of water onto a hooded figure bearing an anarchist flag. Poised between detached commentary and acerbic critique, it recasts a contemporary episode of state authoritarianism in the ‘stately’ aesthetics of public stonework.
Durant’s tableau at once expresses the heroism and pathos of the defiant revolutionary. At the same time, a sense of absurdity clings to the frozen forms and intermittently spurting water: anarchist and riot truck alike appear locked in futile gestures. The two antagonists are based on two news photographs sourced online, showing uprisings in Santiago in 2011 and 2012 and the title’s allusion to Duchamp’s Fountain of 1917 – the archetypal ‘readymade’ – subtly underlines the readymade quality of these sources.
*see also his ongoing collection of defaced monuments