Monument Lab and University of Pennsylvania–Fine Arts

Description

Monument Lab is a national public art and history project based in Philadelphia. Our goal is to critically engage the monuments we have inherited and unearth the next generation of monuments through stories of social justice and solidarity. We work with artists, activists, municipal agencies, and civic stakeholders on new creative approaches to public art, history, and memory.

Activations

Monument Lab presents Manifest Stations a student exhibition
1
Nov
Activation

Monument Lab presents Manifest Stations a student exhibition

The Monument Lab will host a class project on the idea of freedoms related to convergence of art, ecology and history.
November 1, 2018
Exhibition
Monument Lab presents Manifest Stations a student exhibition
15
Oct
Activation

Monument Lab presents Manifest Stations a student exhibition

Students enrolled this fall in Monument Lab artistic director Paul Farber’s Fine Arts civic studio course at the University of Pennsylvania will ponder, create, and then publically install their own portable definitions of freedom through Manifest Stations. In collaboration with artists Matt Neff and Steph Garcia, in small groups undergraduate and graduate students will write six-word manifestos defining freedom; create foldable one-page books and posters through the historic letterpress with the Common Press; and then pursue temporary installations of their works in public spaces on campus and in Philadelphia. The documentation and outcomes of these projects will result in an online exhibition of the projects on the Monument Lab Instagram page the week of October 15 and circulate with partners locally and nationally. By mixing one of the oldest forms of informational distribution (letterpress) with the newest (Instagram), the project aims to provoke engagement around the ways freedom provokes a complex cultural inheritance. For example, Philadelphia, as a rooted home of the letterpress, popularized by Benjamin Franklin, has been used to disrupt systems of power. The publishing platform was also used by Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette as a vehicle to print advertisements for people who were enslaved. The city itself is layered with stories of freedom and repression, and as such, a landscape of convergences ripe for reflection and engagement. Manifest Stations is intended to place imaginings of freedom into contexts of public art, ecology, and history for a contemporary moment of struggle and striving.
October 15, 2018
Exhibition
Monument Lab: TOWN HALL | A Public Forum on Process and Power
28
Jun
Activation

Monument Lab: TOWN HALL | A Public Forum on Process and Power

Join Monument Lab for our first annual meeting featuring panels and workshops with our National Fellows and guest collaborators from around the country. The daylong gathering ends with a Town Hall focused on the momentum, milestones, challenges, and next steps for the critical monument movement today. Motivated by recent debates and upheavals in cities such as Charlottesville, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and Richmond, the Town Hall centers around a guiding question: Who Decides the Fate of Public Space? In conversation with our national fellows, whose groundbreaking work has sparked new possibilities for monuments in these cities and beyond, attendees will explore approaches for those seeking to tackle, topple, and reframe history in public space. Together, we will investigate power and process through stories of social justice and equity. Monument Lab Town Hall is presented with support from the Surdna Foundation and in collaboration with the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Heim Center for Cultural and Civic Engagement at Parkway Central Library.
June 28, 2019
Town Hall

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