“Syncopation” is the first essay in a three-part series by Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Hilary Malson in which she seeks to engage with work from theorists on contested memory and diasporic black geographies. In this piece, Malson examines silence as an action in the production of history.
Next year, 2019, will mark an ignominious anniversary in China. Thirty years will have passed since the violent crackdown of student protesters on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Co-Curator Ken Lum examines the most important aesthetic edifice relating to the events of Tiananmen Square: the Monument to the People’s Heroes, often overlooked by non-Chinese viewers despite its centrality to the events of 1989.
Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Evander Price unpacks the arguments invented by Confederate monument apologists to justify some degree of compromise other than outright removal. He explores how these justifications celebrate a pernicious fictional alternate history.
Stephanie Syjuco is an artist and professor from UC Berkeley. Syjuco is one of the four artists featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational opening this week across the street from the White House. Syjuco works on monuments by scaling them to handheld objects, newly imagined commodities, and tools for protest.
Michelle Angela Ortiz, visual artist and muralist, has collaborated with mothers and their families at Berks, an immigrant family prison, several hours away from her hometown of Philadelphia. Ortiz has worked to bring the stories of these detained mothers and their families to prominent public spaces where powerbrokers may connect with stories of these mothers in new ways – including last year at Philadelphia's City Hall as a part of the Monument Lab 2017 exhibition. This week, Ortiz installed a new phase of her Familias Separadas project on the Pennsylvania State Capitol steps in Harrisburg and around the city.
In our national conversation on the power that Confederate monuments hold in public memory, there is one dynamic discussion that has fallen off the radar. How are we facing the void of black monuments? Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Hilary Malson explores Black geographies and the question of Monuments.
The Museum of Capitalism was co-founded by Timothy Furstanau and Andrea Steves of FICTILIS, an artistic-curatorial team who the New Yorker has described as constructing “exhibitions and interventions animated by a playful interrogation of social institutions.” FICTILIS opened the first iteration of their Museum in a decade-old retail space that had never been occupied in Oakland’s Jack London district, garnering thousands of visitors and international attention. Currently, the Museum is open at the School of the Museum of Fine Art at Tufts University in the Boston area through October 25, 2018.
San Francisco’s Sister City relationship with Osaka was terminated over a statue dedicated to “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War II. Patricia Eunji Kim writes on San Francisco’s "Column of Strength," dedicated by the Comfort Women Justice Coalition, as a site of transnational #MeToo.
Paper Monuments from New Orleans — led by Bryan C. Lee Jr. and Sue Mobley – grew out of the takedown of four Confederate monuments in the city last year. Rather than look to replace the toppled figures and move on, Paper Monuments has gathered hundreds of under-told stories about the city’s history on posters designed by artists and storytellers, and wheat pasted them across New Orleans. They have been tapped by the city of New Orleans to help re-imagine public spaces around empty pedestals.
Welcoming our 2018-2019 Monument Lab Graduate Student Researchers. Hilary Malson is a student of geography and urban planning in the Urban Planning PhD program at UCLA. Evander Price is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Harvard University. His dissertation research proposes a new category of monumentality, the “future monument.”