Images by Patrick Costello and Ben Simon; James Chrzan; and Sara Morgan

About ‘Ceding Ground’

An empty center holds space for the contemplation of history’s relationship to current conflicts in this garden, which is rendered to match the dimensions of decorative plantings surrounding the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, VA – the site of the infamously violent Unite the Right rally in 2017. Costello replaces Classical-style low hedges, English boxwoods, Japanese hollies and peonies – all associated with the United States’ colonial slavery-fueled economy – with plant species native to the region surrounding Socrates for centuries before European colonization.

Thank You: Ben Simon, Evelyn Manlove, Pawel Pieluszynski, and Glover Perennials for their contributions to this project.

Audio Guide

To hear the artist speak about their work, dial (646) 217-4440 then press 1, then 0, and then “#” key. Or click below.




‘MONUMENTS NOW: Call and Response’