Imagine a proposed and completed public artwork recording the locations of 94 fire and flood disasters in Queensland, Australia; then imagine the unveiling of the work, as the artist reveals that the list doesn’t document natural disasters at all, but a series of 19th-century atrocities against indigenous peoples. It takes guts to do this, especially in a small, interconnected network like the art world. Though such a strategy may build a following, it also has the potential to form divisions that might bite back. But if art is really supposed to reflect and comment on societal issues, then Fiona Foley’s Witnessing to Silence (2004) at the Brisbane Magistrates Court ranks among the very best examples of how to bring a policy of truth through the system and into public art.
...see the entire article in the print version of July/August's Sculpture magazine.
Andy Goldsworthy, Stone Sea, 2012. Missouri limeston, courtyard: 12 x 73 x 20 ft. Work at the Saint Louis Art Museum.