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Above taken by The Mancorialists


It Only Really Dies When It's Forgotten, 2023

The Phantom Public by Walter Lippmann and The Public and its Problems by John Dewey, two books published in the 1920s, were the inspiration for this multi-layered work which asked if such a thing as ‘the public’ exists, and whether a successful, inclusive democracy is possible.

The two books were on display in the Library at the Storyhouse in Chester and acted in a way not unfamiliar to a book, whilst at the same time being eerily unusual.


Once a week, Chester’s famous Town Crier crossed the city centre silently, moving from one public bench to another whilst contemplating. When approached he'd respond by offering some choice written words taken from the books.

A selection of phrases from each book also appeared on public noticeboards around Chester, the quotes becoming carriers down the ages of a range of possible meanings that could perhaps spark new, relevant conversations in public spaces today.

Produced for Chester Contemporary, curated by Ryan Gander.

Thanks to the Storyhouse, Gemma Saunders, Jason Crane, and Rick Marchant for their support.

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