Jes Fernie on 'Cracks and how to deal with them'

Jes Fernie on 'Cracks and how to deal with them'

Listen to Jes Fernie speaking at Fountains Failures Futures: The afterlives of public arta free public symposium in Lund, held at Skissernas Museum 28-30 September 2023.

Jes suggests the destruction of public artworks is often viewed as a shameful display of failure. She explores how we could rethink this response and embrace the idea of destruction as a potentially transformative, expansive, cathartic act which revels in unruly, unknowable live contexts, and offers opportunities for the accrual of new narratives. Drawing on examples of artworks in the online Archive of Destruction, Jes highlights public artworks by Nicole Eisenman, Amina Menia, and 3Nós3. *Jes was introduced by Cathryn Klasto.

*Jes Fernie is an independent curator, writer, and lecturer. Many of her projects are situated in the public realm beyond gallery walls. In 2021 she launched the Archive of Destruction, a research project that brings together narratives around public sculpture that have been destroyed by rage, boredom, fear, greed, and love.

Banner image: Nicole Eisenman, Sketch for a Fountain, 2021. Photo: Dein Brunnen für Münster.

*Listening time: 36 minutes. Scroll down for a selection of images.

Image: 3Nós3, Ensacamento (Covering), 1979. São Paulo, Brazil.

Nicole Eisenman 'Sketch for a Fountain' (2017), Münster, Germany. Photo: Jes Fernie
Paul Landowski. Monument to the Dead, 1928, Algiers, Algeria. Image courtesy of Amina Menia.
M’hamed Issiakhem. Monument to the Dead - revised version, 1978, Algiers, Algeria. Image courtesy of Amina Menia.

Amina Menia, Enclosed, installation at the Mosaic Rooms, London, 2014. Landowski’s figures can be seen through the cracks of Issiakhem’s work. Photo: Andy Stagg, courtesy the artist and Mosaic Rooms.
3Nós3, Ensacamento, 1979, São Paulo. Image courtesy: Maria Ramiro, Hugo França and Galeria Jaqueline Martins.