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New Monuments for New Cities with the High Line Network
May 11, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - August 30, 2019 @ 5:00 pmFree
Imagine a monument for today, for your city, for your country, for your community. As monuments to a deeply embedded, singular, and imbalanced history of the Western world are torn down every day, what will go up in their stead on these empty pedestals and plinths, or in the open sky above public squares and urban plazas? What rises from the rituals of their removal? Who is figured on these shrines, who has chosen and installed them, and who walks and drives by them every day?
New Monuments for New Cities is the inaugural project of the High Line Network Joint Art Initiative, a new collaboration between infrastructure reuse projects in North America. This public art exhibition will travel across the United States and Canada throughout 2019. For the exhibition, five urban reuse projects that are part of the High Line Network invited five of their local artists or artist groups to create proposals (in the form of posters) for new monuments. Each participating location will produce an exhibition of the resulting 25 artworks specific to their site.
The artists in the exhibition have designed monuments, both possible and impossible to build, that question the format itself and envision its future. They span from proposals for traditional monuments, to revised historical statues, to newly imagined methods of public commemoration. They take the form of drawings, photographs, renderings, “missing” posters, Wikipedia pages, bold text-based statements, collages, and more. These 25 artworks address questions around permanence, representation, public space and land ownership, and the writing and re-writing of history.
The launch of the New Monuments for New Cities exhibit was marked with a Monuments Summit on May 11. The Summit is a day-long public event that will introduce the public to the New Monuments exhibition, the contributing artists from several participating cities, and the issues the exhibition raises. The day was structured around a series of conversations and participatory activities, asking the public to reflect on the same set of questions raised by the artists and to engage in a collective dialogue about issues of representation, civic histories and monumentality.
The Bentway’s art exhibition is accompanied by public tours led by some of the artists involved, as well as other artists and thinkers in Toronto. Tours occur on Tuesdays (6-7pm), May 14-August 20. Tour leaders include: Rebecca Carbin, Art + Public UnLtd; Coco Guzman, New Monuments for New Cities artist; Quentin VerCetty, New Monuments for New Cities artist; and Kaitlin Wainwright, Heritage Toronto.
Participating artists include:
Toronto, ON – Susan Blight, Coco Guzman, Life of a Craphead (Amy Lam and Jon McCurley), An Te Liu, and Quentin VerCetty
Houston, TX – Regina Agu, Jamal Cyrus, Sin Huellas artists: Delilah Montoya and Jimmy Castillo, Phillip Pyle, II, Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin
Austin, TX – Nicole Awai, Daniela Cavazos Madrigal, Teruko Nimura and Rachel Alex Crist, Denise Prince, Vincent Valdez
Chicago, IL – Eric J. García, Tonika Johnson, Chris Pappan, Richard Santiago (TIAGO), Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff
New York, NY – Judith Bernstein, Guerrilla Girls, Hans Haacke, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Xaviera Simmons
About The High Line Network
Presented by Friends of the High Line, the High Line Network is a group of infrastructure reuse projects—and the people who help them come to life. As cities become denser and land for traditional parks becomes scarce, citizens are finding creative ways to bring greenspace to their neighborhoods. Projects in the High Line Network transform underutilized infrastructure into new urban landscapes. Redefining what a park can be, these hybrid spaces are also public squares, open-air museums, botanical gardens, social service organizations, walkways, transit corridors, and more.
The High Line Network is made possible by the founding support of The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Amanda and Don Mullen.
Susan Blight is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker from Couchiching First Nation, Anishinaabe, Turtle Clan whose work has been screened and exhibited nationally and internationally. Susan is co-founder of The Ogimaa Miikana Project, an artist/activist collective working to reclaim and rename the roads, streets, and landmarks of Toronto with Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language).
Coco Guzman is a Toronto-based visual artist whose work addresses themes of gender and sexuality, war and protest, the invisibility of migrants and refugees, and the dynamics of exclusion and normalization. Guzman has exhibited worldwide, including at Colombia University, Chicago; The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Montreal Arts Interculturels, Montreal; and El Porvenir de la Revuelta, Madrid. http://www.cocoriot.com/
Life of a Craphead is the collaboration of Amy Lam and Jon McCurley whose work spans performance art, film, and curation. The name “Life of a Craphead” comes from the opening joke of the very first live comedy routine they performed together in 2006. Amy is Chinese and Jon is Vietnamese-Irish and the duo lives and works in Toronto. http://www.lifeofacraphead.com/
An Te Liu is Professor in the Master of Architecture Program at the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto. After working in the studio of Frank Gehry Associates and as a project designer in firms in Paris and Los Angeles, he was co-founder and design principal of the multi-disciplinary practices Hedge and Space International, both based in Los Angeles. Since 1999, he has been engaged in sculpture and installation work which explores issues of function, occupation and cultural coding in the domestic and urban realms. Liu’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
Quentin VerCetty is an award winning visual storyteller and art educator whose work uses speculative narratives including Afrofuturism to address issues of representation, immigration, decolonization, and the lack of what he terms PDAA: Public Display(s) of Appreciation for Africa(ns). https://www.vercetty.com/
Images: An Te Liu; Memoria, Quentin VerCetty, Library of Unlearning; Susan Blight, Land and Life; Life of a Craphead, Angry Edit of Wikipedia Page; Coco Guzman, Missing Democracy.