“Shit Fountain”, Chicago

Say you’ve got a problem with dogs fowling the sidewalk in your neighbourhood. What’s your solution? Sculptor Jerzy S. Kenar decided to make a fountain in the shape of a gigantic dog poop in front of his house.

I’d probably have done the same.

It’s just an ordinary road in Chicago’s East Village. It has the same problems as every other ordinary road in the world, as Kenar explained:

“I have flowers in front of the gallery, and someone [will be] walking their dog and the dog is jumping there… and shitting there and someone is not picking [it] up.”

You’re more likely to be familiar with Kenar’s religious art—his work can be found in the churches of St Kevin, St Constance and the Holy Trinity Polish Mission in Chicago. His “Shit Fountain” (2005), perhaps, seems a little out of place in his oeuvre.

Kenar was born in Poland in 1948 but escaped the Soviet bloc by emigrating to Sweden in 1973. The allure of Ikea and ABBA was not enough to keep him here, so he moved to Chicago in 1979.

His “Shit Fountain” is intended to be funny and ironic. Water trickles over it, giving it a fresh, wet look.

But given the dog poop on the street by his house, I’m not sure it’s doing a whole lot to stem the tide of canine bowel movements in the immediate vicinity.

Shit Fountain, Chicago
Address: 1001 North Wolcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622
Hours: Visible 24/7

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About Richard

I am a writer who travels endlessly. Fascinated by how our lives are propelled forward by what's left behind, I thirst to know everything. I read, collect, gather, organise, list. Here are some of the things I read, see and experience. Please make yourself at home: drinks and pretzels will be served shortly. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!

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