In this time of uncertainty and rethinking public engagement, we reached out to artists, curators, writers, and our collaborators to respond to two open-ended questions in order to foster a meaningful dialogue around the shifts to our public spaces. Read responses from Deborah Willis, Karyn Olivier, Iggy Cortez, Kate Kraczon, and more.
In this interview, Yazmany Arboleda discusses the importance and nuances of aesthetics in Remember2019, a collaborative project that supports and facilitates local practices of self-determination, memory, and reflection that are directly related to the mass lynching of 1919 in Phillips County, Arkansas.
Angel Bellaran reflects on her own experiences as curatorial advisor for the Nasty Women Exhibition movement, which organized a global network of public exhibitions featuring the artworks of diverse womxn from around the world. Bellaran discusses the need for a feminist public art movement, while providing insight on the collaborative processes and ethics required of feminist curating.
For too long, Bermuda has avoided a meaningful discussion of its history of slavery, perpetuating the myth that the island's enslavement of black people was benign. The memorial to Sally Bassett, an elderly enslaved woman who was burned to death, takes a step towards acknowledging the trauma endured by Black Bermudians. However, the memorial's obscure location and protests advocating for its removal unveil Bermuda's resistance to confronting its past.
Monument Lab is proud to announce our 2020 cohort of Transnational Fellows. Chosen through an open call, these artists, activists, and civic practitioners critically reimagine monuments in sites and spaces across North America and Germany.
In one single day in April, the number of COVID-related deaths exceeded the number of U.S. soldier deaths in Iraq since 2001. Kirk Savage reflects on what happens when merely counting the increase in the number of COVID-19 deaths is not enough--especially in light of the federal government’s weak response to the crisis. Savage argues that in order to reckon with the tens of thousands of deaths, we must come to terms with the callousness of the current federal administration, especially towards the country’s most vulnerable communities.
“Burial is not the only part of death driven by inequity. Mourning is as well.” Sophia Park reflects on the challenges of collectively and equitably mourning loss in a time of social distancing.
In this time of uncertainty and rethinking public engagement, we reached out to artists, curators, writers, and our collaborators to respond to two open-ended questions in order to foster a meaningful dialogue around the shifts to our public spaces. Read responses from Stephanie Garcia, Christine Y. Kim, Edra Soto, Carmen Winant, and more.
As we transition our routine modes of living together and withdraw from public spaces, masked monuments are popping up in cities and towns across the world. Paul M. Farber and Patricia Eunji Kim argue that statues adorned with face masks are parting gifts for our public spaces. They contend these interventions draw on the power of public art and the Internet to speak loudly without words, to caution and create connections in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his new book, Paul M. Farber traces the Berlin Wall as a site of pilgrimage for American artists, writers, and activists. During the Cold War and in the shadow of the Wall, figures such as Leonard Freed, Angela Davis, Shinkichi Tajiri, and Audre Lorde weighed the possibilities and limits of American democracy.
Following her Bulletin essay on Olu Oguibe’s Monument for Strangers and Refugees, Laurel V. McLaughlin speaks with artist Pamela Valfer, whose work engages with the monument in its dismembered form. In this interview, Valfer discusses the conceptualization and installation of her work, In Situ: A Monument to a Monument—“Monument to Strangers and Refugees” Olu Oguibe.
The Monument Lab Bulletin is a collaborative platform for critically reading and reimagining monuments. We invite contributors who are deeply committed to changing the way we study, build, and interpret monuments. We welcome contributions from artists, students, scholars, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions.
Ken Lum’s latest book, Everything is Relevant: Writings on Art and Life, 1991-2018, includes a letter to an editor, diary entries, articles, catalogue essays, curatorial statements, and more that highlight his artistic practice that has long-contributed to debates around race, class, and monumentality.
How might we center diverse histories of women in the classroom and in our civic spaces? Scholar and Monument Lab’s Assistant Curator and Communications Director Patricia Eunji Kim writes on how her course on ancient royal women from the Mediterranean and Middle East at NYU addresses this question through the study of the Classics.
In his latest book, Thomas J. Brown provides the most comprehensive overview of the American war memorial as a cultural form and reframes the national debate over Civil War monuments that remain potent presences on the civic landscape.
A living handbook for vital perspectives on public art and history
Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Clare Fisher delves into the hidden labor it takes to maintain monuments.
Joel Garcia and Cheyenne Concepcion, two members of the 2019 Fellows cohort, traveled to Berlin with the Goethe Institut over the summer or a research trip. Fellows met with memory workers, cultural organizers, and public space advocates, touring both prominent and grassroots sites of memory. The week culminated in a group think tank, observed by graphic artist Johana Benz, exploring the layers of trauma and transformation made evident in navigating through Berlin.
What can granite tell us about Military Park’s monuments? Monument Lab Graduate Researcher Clare Fisher delves into how the material a monument is made of can be as revealing as what event or person the monument depicts.
How leading American artists reflected on the fate of humanity in the nuclear era through monumental sculpture.
What does peace look like in Newark, New Jersey? Monument Lab’s assistant curator Alliyah Allen tells the story of peace through Newark’s artists that chose to interpret seemingly mundane yet deeply human moments.
What would a timely monument for Newark, New Jersey be today? Guest contributor Mark Krasovic examines this question by looking at one of Newark’s most prominent statues, Wars of America.
What is commemorative justice? Monument Lab Fellow Free Egunfemi, share how her work in Virginia helped her to coin the term and how others can practice commemorative justice
What would monuments to Black women look like if they were personal, communally accessible, and tangible? Monument Youth Fellow Kanyinsola Anifowoshe seeks to address this question through her series of workshops
When Everything and All We Got is Each Other, Our Side Eye Turned Protest and Our Best Recollection
How can performance art raise awareness of the public history of slavery and contemporary issues of justice? Monument Lab Fellow Arielle Brown delves into how her project, Black Spatial Relics, and the artists it engages use their work to do just this
Monument Lab Youth Fellow Zyahna Bryant delves into the importance of community organizing and how this can be used to reclaim space and narratives.
Monument Lab Youth Fellow Aliyah Young discusses the importance of self-care, healing, and visibility through her activist work surrounding Rekia Boyd.
Monument Lab Fellow Cheyenne Concepcion offers a window into The Borderland Archive, an ongoing project she began as an attempt at understanding and cataloging the spatial conditions negotiated by borders.
How does an architect design the sacred? How does one represent inspiration in form? How does one prepare a place for enlightenment to occur? Graduate Researcher Evander Price explores how Louis Kahn answered these questions with his design of the Salk Institute in San Diego—a secular, sacred space in which he manifested metaphors of inspiration in monumentality.