Relic III, 2024
bread and burnt books
28 x 46 x 18 cm

In Relic III, Fiona Hall's choice to depict a penis crafted from bread atop a charred book is particularly poignant when considered alongside Relic II, which features a bread sculpture of Vladimir Putin's head. Through these sculptures, Hall underscores the fragility and impermanence inherent in structures of authority, especially those wielded by men in positions of power. By using bread as the medium for both sculptures, Hall symbolically emphasises the transient nature of dominance and influence, suggesting that even the most formidable figures are susceptible to decay and downfall. The charred book beneath the bread penis in Relic III further reinforces this theme, perhaps alluding to the potential destruction or suppression of knowledge and alternative perspectives under patriarchal systems. In this way, Hall's artworks not only challenge viewers to reconsider conventional notions of gender and power but also prompt critical reflection on the limitations and fallibility of male leadership in contemporary society.