New York

John Feker

Civilian Warfare

Most messages hit us in the time of the street, the compact, instantaneous, assaultive visual moment offered by car travel or the pedestrian’s rapid scan. To this is opposed the time of the book, or of the artwork as conventionally phrased, each of which presumes a distended, contemplative circuit, capacious in its trajectory. Television and video occupy the former zone; despite their interior locale they have an immediacy, a narrow “frequency” of message alien to the protracted wavelength of the latter. Over the last few years John Fekner’s work has occupied this temporal range, as he has employed spaces ranging from the Bronx to the 59th Street Bridge to the Long Island Expressway (to cite only a few) to hammer out messages about urban decay.

In these projects Fekner’s medium is the stencil; through its sharp letters, emblazoned on billboards and walls, he spews out criticism of industrial

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