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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Farber’

BY JARED BREY

A new grant funds an effort to catalog the commemorative landscape.

FROM THE JANUARY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

In 2017, Karyn Olivier, a Philadelphia-based artist and associate professor of sculpture at Temple University, wrapped a 20-foot-high monument to a minor Revolutionary War battle in her neighborhood park in mirrored acrylic. It reflected back the image of whoever walked past it. It amplified a nearby sculpture of the 17th-century abolitionist Francis Daniel Pastorius. At certain angles, it disappeared altogether. Olivier was hoping the project would help her neighbors see the park in a new way, and that it would say something about “the fragmentary nature of how history is revealed to us.”

“How do we make monuments porous? How do we make them malleable?” Olivier asks. “What does it mean for me to become the monument?”

Olivier’s piece was part of a citywide exhibition, curated by the Philadelphia-based public art and history studio Monument Lab, which grew out of the work of Paul Farber and Ken Lum, two fine arts faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. The show asked Philadelphians to think about what would make an appropriate monument for the contemporary city. The exhibition unexpectedly coincided with the infamous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which formed partly in opposition to the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. In the three and a half years since, the conversation about America’s monuments—whom they commemorate, who builds them, and why—has only broadened. (more…)

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