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Philly’s ‘Monument Lab’ Exhibition Kicks Off This Week, Here Are The Two Events You Can’t Miss

September 10, 2017

(‘The Battle Is Joined,’ a Monument Lab installation by artist Karyn Olivier at Vernon Park; photos courtesy of Mural Arts Philadelphia)

Philly is about to host a two month, city-wide exhibition that’s focused on the question that every city in the U.S. (and likely many around the world) are asking themselves right now: what are appropriate monuments for our cities? The exhibition is called Monument Lab, it kicks-off on September 16th, and there’s two kick-off events this week that you will not want to miss! But first, a little related announcement…

I’m so excited to tell y’all, today, that I’ve joined the Monument Lab Curatorial Team! I will be working with the Monument Lab team through the entirety of the exhibition as their Social Media Lead to tell the stories and goals of this much-needed exhibition through social media. So, if you’re not already, I strongly encourage you to like/follow Monument Lab’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram now to follow along!

Monument Lab is a public art and history project by curators Paul M. Farber and Ken Lum, produced with Mural Arts Philadelphia, that’s inviting Philadelphians and visitors to join a city-wide conversation about history, memory, and our collective future. Starting September 16th and through November 19th, Monument Lab will exhibit 20 new temporary monuments from 20 emerging and world-renown artists at 10 public spaces across Philadelphia. Over the two months of the exhibition, there will be regular events, panel discussions, tours, and conversations as well as interactive pop-up “laboratories” at each of the 10 sites where you will be asked to tell us what you think is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia for a report that will be delivered to The City in 2018. There will also be a central hub at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where you can explore the exhibition in its entirety.

This exhibition is asking how and why we build the monuments we do, and how we can make the process of creating monuments more democratic and include the multitude of voices and histories our cities truly comprise. Current events have, of course, made this exhibition even more timely. And I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that Philadelphia can lead a conversation that every city in the country should be having right now.

If you are as exited about this exhibition as I am, there are two kick-off events that you can not miss this week: The first, How to Make a Monument, where you can hear from world-renowned participating Monument Lab artists Mel Chin, Tania Bruguera, and Emeka Ogboh, plus the curators Paul M. Farber and Ken Lum, Mural Arts’ Jane Golden, and Mayor Jim Kenney. The second, Monument Lab’s kick-off day at City Hall Courtyard.

Hope to see y’all out this week!

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