Revisiting counter-monuments

About this event

Dr Ruth Fazakerley (University of South Australia) discusses 'Revisiting counter-monuments: forgetting and remembering in the postcolonial landscape.' Live from Adelaide as part of the 'Performance, Monuments and Public Spaces' series.

At the end of 2020 there is renewed recognition that public monuments can attract public debate and even violent censure! Media reports reprove the violence done to property, artistic vision or historical memory, with comparatively little attention to the violence done ‘by’ public art (Mitchell 1990). Australia’s nineteenth-century colonial cities liberally commissioned statues for their streets, gardens and squares – not simply commemorative artworks but durable public lessons that helped consolidate an image of cohesive settler communities and place, intimately connected to Empire and civilization somewhere else. It is no surprise that specific statues, and even the idea of statues, continue to offend – variously accused of celebrating the wrong values, events and people, while failing to remember others; and repressing different ways of being in public space. In the context of the contemporary growth and diversification of monuments, this presentation discusses examples of Australian ‘counter-memorials’ that have sought to make visible the diverse people, ways of life, and contributions of this country’s first inhabitants and traditional owners, often seeking to highlight and redress ongoing injustice.

Dr Ruth Fazakerley is an Academic Developer with the Teaching Innovation Unit, University of South Australia. As an educator and researcher, Fazakerley’s career spans diverse higher education and professional settings, underpinned by a sustained engagement with the theory, policy, management and professional practice of art in public spaces. Situated within the fields of contemporary visual art and culture and informed by urban studies and cultural geography, Fazakerley’s research focuses on the discourses and histories of ‘public art’ and the effects of those discourses on urban, social and spatial relations.

Image: Black ANZACS mural by Hego (2015) in Meningie, South Australia, photograph by Ruth Fazakerley.

Painted mural of Black Anzacs in Meningie, South Australia


Date/time Thursday 21 January 2021, from 1pm to 2pm GMT
Book ticket Revisiting counter-monuments
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Revisiting counter-monuments

Hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts, Cultures and Engagement (CREATURE), Dr Ruth Fazakerley (University of South Australia) discusses "Revisiting counter-monuments: forgetting and remembering in the postcolonial landscape" live from Adelaide as part of In-Public's "Performance, Monuments and Public Spaces" series.

The School of Art, Architecture and Design Sessions