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Proposal For Public Fountain Exhibition

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Anarchist Water Fight
sam durant, sadie coles proposal for public fountain, public engagement 1
'Public Engagement 1', 2013, Sam Durant

Who would have thought that a public fountain could cause so much controversy? The black sculpted marble installation should be a thing of beauty that is meant to be admired by the community, yet in Sam Durant's latest exhibition it features as the cause of an anarchist uprising.

For his third appearance at Sadie Coles HQ, Durant's Proposal for Public Fountain focusses on a central installation in the middle of the gallery floor, depicting a protestor with a flag being targeted by a fire truck. Surrounding this sculpture are photographs that he sourced from 2011-2012 online news bulletins about uprisings in Santiago, in which anarchist were fired at by armoured water cannons. Durant recreated these images in a series of graphite drawings, and represents individuals being subordinated by the state. They are available to view until the 29th June.

The uprising in Chile was a protest for changes in the public education system, but the exact context of Durant's work is unclear. Are we meant to be in favour of the anarchists or of the local authority? Who is the victim, and why are these people in the middle of a water fight? These are questions left unanswered, and it is up to the audience to decide.
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Why? Fun for art lovers
When: Until 29th June
Phone: 44 [0] 20 7493 8611
Where: Sadie Coles HQ
Cost: Free
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