Marc Quinn (1964)

“A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020” (2020)

Black resin

Quinn’s statue was originally placed on the empty base where a 19th-century statue of Edward Colston-who’d been involved in the Atlantic slave trade-had been toppled, defaced, and pushed into the city’s harbour by George Floyd protesters in June, 2020. The statue was removed by Bristol City Council the day after it was installed, with Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees stating that Quinn did not have permission to install the statue and that the future of the base would be decided by the people of Bristol.

Edited to add: the statue was put up by Quinn July 15, and removed July 16

We tend to associate intimacy with closeness and closeness with a certain sum of shared experiences. Yet in reality total strangers, who will never say a single word to each other, can share an intimacy — an intimacy contained in the exchange of a glance, a nod of the head, a smile, a shrug of a shoulder. A closeness that lasts for minutes or for the duration of a song that is being listened to together. An agreement about life. An agreement without clauses. A conclusion spontaneously shared between the untold stories gathered around the song.

John Berger, Some Notes on Song