‘MONUMENTS NOW:’ Broadway Billboard
‘In Praise of Famous Men No More’
12 × 28 feet
Photo credits – #1 Installation image by Scott Lynch
In conjunction with the ‘MONUMENTS NOW‘ exhibition, the Broadway Billboard above the Park’s main entrance features Nona Faustine’s ‘In Praise of Famous Men No More’ – a photographic rendering of two 19th-century monuments to American presidents that probes at the power and integrity of these symbolic icons.
One image centers the Lincoln Memorial – a towering depiction of the 16th president that was carved from Georgia white marble by Daniel Chester French and is located in the National Mall in Washington D.C..
The other image presents a profile view of the bronze Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt in front of the Natural History Museum in New York City – which, as it was recently announced, will be removed in response to nation-wide protests challenging the presence of racist monuments in public space. The statue depicts the 26th president on horseback allegorically flanked by an Indigenous man and an African man.
Both images are bisected by a blurred horizontal line, interrupting the crisp focus of the classical realist monuments and destabilizing the narratives they portray.
This presentation is a continuation of the ‘White Shoes‘ series in which Faustine photographed herself nude at historic sites pertaining to slavery in New York City – using her body as a temporary monument to explore contested histories and methods of remembering.