John Fekner Exchanges “MEMORY” with Brad Downey / Dispatch From Isolation # 43

As you watch and wait to see the festering uprisings of workers and the growing crowds of poor and hungry in the US, we take you back to Friday, which was Labor Day in Europe. It was also the release date for this curious and interesting project by the artist and people’s advocate, the New Yorker John Fekner.

John Fekner “Memory” (photo courtesy Bien Urbain)

This unique collection of objects and images and textures called MEMORY is a publication linked by projects that are strung together in a constellation across five decades, a few continents, and pivotal moments that reflect the themes in this New York artists’ activism on the street and through various public interventions. A true innovator, trouble maker, and activator of moribund spaces, its Fekner’s cryptic pronouncements that can read as final judgements and humorous summaries.

“This publication gathers 6 objects edited by projects : a parcel memory from the artist’s archives,” says the description of this limited edition. “It is the result of exchanges between the artists John Fekner and Brad Downey, the artistic director of the Bien Urbain festival David Demougeot and the graphic designers Laura Bouchez and Bart Lanzini.”

John Fekner (photo courtesy Bien Urbain)

It all seems so current, of this moment: with references to broken promises, saving schools, worker’s movements, the remains of industry, government abandonment, citizen participation, engaging memory, beseeching the power of poetry. It’s all of one cloth, and all a wistful piece of our collective memory – now brought to life again.

John Fekner “Memory” (photo courtesy Bien Urbain)