Not Quite a Manifesto......


Thinking about public art.

 The importance of interpretation, that is the understanding of the meaning of an artwork, became central to my work during a recent research project in which I examined how contemporary artists address the form of the 'monument' today. As a starting point I took it to be that in classical terms, the monument is 'public art with a political message'.

Historically the monument has always instigated or commissioned by what we know as 'The Establishment' - that nebulous group who exert authority over us. Those monuments could be nationalistic, jingoistic, sycophantic or even religious but they had a message.

In the course of my research I have written about recent moves to contemporise the monument, to take it from the Establishment for our own use. In this way, existential questions can placed before us in the form of political public art. I call these Neo-Monuments and to me they are often 'monuments of dissent'.They need not stand for a thousand years; it may be only an afternoon [but then maybe, an infinite time on the Internet].

They don't have to be stone or bronze, they could even be found objects like the artist, Jeremy Deller's bombed car from a Baghdad market or some of the ecologically driven art of Tue Greenfort, even anti-war projections like those of Krzysztof Wodiczko and Jenny Holzer

 

I think this is worthy art and to this end, I hope my recent artwork has moved in this direction.