Statues Also Die is a group exhibition of multimedia work created over the past decade that calls for the collaborative reimagining of Confederate and colonial figurative monuments across the United States. As protesters around the globe forcibly remove, decapitate, deface, and petition these long-standing symbols of white supremacy, slavery, patriarchy, xenophobia and capitalism, this exhibition looks to artists to explore the question of what might take their place. This show recognizes the complex bind that removal poses– by eliminating representations of America’s violent past, designed to outlive their makers, we risk erasing the political will of these histories, their ripple effects, and lasting legacies. At the same time, if these monuments are to remain, what modifications can be made to make sure that they are interpreted anew? Featured artists offer concepts for breathing new life into traditional statuary forms, and include: Rebecca Belmore, Cassils, Doreen Garner, Xandra Ibarra, Nate Lewis, Jeffrey Meris, Paper Monuments, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Marisa Williamson, and Veo Veo Design Studio.
Statues Also Die invites the people of Connecticut to participate in the imagining of new monuments for their hometowns through an Open Call. The call expands upon a model originally conceived by Paper Monuments for the people of New Orleans, who in 2017, were called to imagine what might replace four removed Jim Crow era monuments. The Open Call, brings to mind the 7 Christopher Columbus monuments recently removed across the state, and invites residents to think locally about how we might create a monument that represents our collective identities. Submit here.
Image Credits (starting at the top, moving left to right)
Christopher Columbus Statue (before removal), New London, CT
Nona Faustine, My Country, 2019, digital c-print, 60x40 inches
Doreen Garner, Skin of PONEROS, 2017, silicone, staples, Poly-Fil, wood coffin, glass, 32x75.5x33.5 inches
Xandra Ibarra, Turn Around Sidepiece (performance still), 2018, video, 2 min. 50 sec.
Cassils, Monument Push, performance still
Jeffrey Meris, The Block is Hot, 2020
Marisa Williamson, Postcard Book: The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson, 2018, 5x7 inches
Paper Monuments, Framing Histories, 2019