Monument Lab Goes Big With 2017 Artist Roster

 

Philly street photographer Zoe Strauss, Chinese multi media artist and activist Ai Weiwei, and NYC documentary photographer Jamel Shabazz. | Photos courtesy of Mural Arts Philadelphia

A public art tour de force this way comes. Today Mural Arts Philadelphia released the list of artists for this year’s Monument Lab, a temporary installation project that explores the role monuments play in the 21st century urban landscape. Widely expanded for 2017, the citywide public art and history exhibition, launched in 2015 inside the courtyard and on the southern apron of City Hall, will run from September 16 through November 19 featuring the work of 22 local and international artists at 10 locations throughout Philadelphia. The line up for 2017 includes contemporary art star and Chinese multimedia artist/activist Ai WeiWei, Nigerian sound and installation artist Emeka Ogboh, NYC video and performance artist Marisa Williamson and African American documentary photographer Jamel Shabazz as well as Philly’s own Zoe Strauss, King Britt, RAIR, Klip Collective, and Latina mural artist Michelle Angela Ortiz. Through installation, performance, and social “laboratories,” artists will engage in a wide range of topical issues including immigration and refugees, gentrification, equality and social justice, land use and sustainability, the opioid abuse epidemic, and neighborhood culture.

“From Ai Weiwei to Zoe Strauss, Hank Willis Thomas to Shira Walinsky and Southeast by Southeast, we are excited to announce an artist roster that seeks a diversity of ideas, identities, and monumental approaches to engaging Philadelphia’s history,” said Paul Farber, artistic director and lead curator of Monument Lab in a press release. “These artists draw on their own deep connections to the city, and spark reflection on our core values and visions. With temporary monuments and adjacent research labs for public dialogue, our goal is to change the ways we write the history of our city together.”

For the nine-week exhibition individual projects will be installed in all five of William Penn’s original public squares–Center Square (City Hall), Franklin Square, Washington Square, Logan Square (Logan Circle), and Rittenhouse Square. Five neighborhood parks–Penn Treaty Park, Malcolm X Park, Vernon Park, Marconi Plaza, and Norris Square–will play host to temporary installation work, performance pieces, and pop-up programming. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts will serve as a hub for the project and will provide additional exhibition space.

A complete list of artists’ projects will be announced by Mural Arts in the spring.

Monument Lab 2017 list of artists.

Ai Weiwei, Berlin/Beijing
Tania Bruguera, Havana/New York City/Cambridge
Mel Chin, Egypt, North Carolina
Kara Crombie, Philadelphia
Tyree Guyton, Detroit
Hans Haacke, New York City
David Hartt, Philadelphia
Sharon Hayes, Philadelphia
King Britt and Joshua Mays, Philadelphia and Oakland
Klip Collective, Philadelphia
Duane Linklater, North Bay, Ontario
Emeka Ogboh, Lagos/Berlin
Karyn Olivier, Philadelphia
Michelle Angela Ortiz, Philadelphia
Kaitlin Pomerantz, Philadelphia
RAIR featuring Abigail DeVille, Philadelphia and New York City
Alexander Rosenberg, Philadelphia
Jamel Shabazz, New York City
Zoe Strauss, Philadelphia
Hank Willis Thomas, New York City
Shira Walinsky and Southeast by Southeast, Philadelphia
Marisa Williamson, New York City

 

About the author

Michael Bixler is a writer, photographer, and managing editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a former arts and entertainment reporter with Mountain Xpress weekly in Asheville, North Carolina and a native of South Carolina. Bixler has a keen interest in adaptive reuse, underappreciated architecture, contemporary literature and art, and forward-thinking dialogue about people and place. mmbixler.tumblr.com

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1 Comment


  1. Wonder if any of these artists are local native Americans or of “first Peoples” descent, especially for the Penn Treaty Park project? The Lenni Lenape trusted and welcomed Penn here with his good intentions. I’ve been wanting a memorial project that honors the land and the people who were here first and are still here although they have been forced off the land.A place where we can honor the land and environment that we all share and care for. Perhaps the whole experiment in democracy would not have taken root if Penn had not created a city that welcomed many view points. The liberty bell celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Penn Charter.

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