Sam Durant’s two-channel video Trope (2020) accompanies The Common Guild’s presentation of the artist’s Iconoclasm drawings across outdoor sites in the city. Both the drawings and the video depict historical and contemporary acts of destruction enacted upon statues and monuments in the public realm.
Many of the Iconoclasm drawings were taken from original newspaper photo-reportage and television footage. Likewise, Trope is a compilation of recent and archival news clips collected and collaged together from anonymous internet sources. Portraying the simultaneous toppling and resurrection of public statuary in different locations around the world – including the spontaneous deposition of the statue of Edward Colston by Bristol residents in 2020 – Trope emphasises the cyclical and recursive nature of iconoclastic acts and the compulsion to destroy symbols of the past.
Locations of Sam Durant, Iconoclasm can be found here.