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Isn’t that monumental?

September 29, 2017
Hank Willis Thomas (1976), 2017, "All Power to All People", Aluminum and stainless steel, City Hall/Thomas Paine Plaza
Sharon Hayes (1970), 2017, "If They Should Ask", Cast concrete, steel, and acrylic lettering. Rittenhouse Square

What is a monument? What does it stand for? What does it look like? These are the just a few of the questions that the Monument Lab asks all of us. Monuments can become easy to miss among the hustle and bustle of the day. Statues can be lost among buildings, murals blend in with street art. This exhibit wants us to look up, to get involved and ask questions.

Philadelphia is home to thousands of pieces of public art and historical landmarks. They are as much a part of the landscape as SEPTA, commuters, and bodegas. After five years in the making, Monument Lab explores what moments of our history should be immortalized and their symbols through conversation and prototypes.

"In 2017, we must recognize that the story told by our monuments is not our city’s full history"
— Laurie Allen

The Monument Lab presents 10 prototype monuments from 20 artists across the city and around the world for viewing and discussion. From sculpture to audio, paint to performance, experience the possibilities for yourself. Pause in one of the Monument Lab trailers to fill out a monument research form which includes the location and sketch of your idea. Pick up a Monument Lab newspaper to uncover the location of the current prototypes and event calendar. Pop into the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) to view a complete collection of the works spread around the city, available free for all.

Join us at Promument, a night of dancing and conversation, on October 6th! With each voice heard, the fuller and more inclusive our history told through monuments will become. Isn’t this monumental?



Philed by Kim Iburg

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The Water Works behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo by Erin DiSerafino.