Summer 2020 – March 2021
CALL AND RESPONSE
THE NEXT GENERATION
On View Summer 2020 – March 2021
In this turbulent moment when we find ourselves reevaluating American identity and values, the MONUMENTS NOW exhibition at Socrates Sculpture Park seeks to address the role of monuments in society and commemorate underrepresented narratives such as diasporic, Indigenous, and queer histories.
MONUMENTS NOW evolves over three cumulative parts. Part I opens opens summer 2020 with major new commissions for contemporary monuments by acclaimed artists Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas, and Xaviera Simmons.
Then MONUMENTS NOW Parts II & III go on view together October 10, 2020. Part II: Call and Response, encompasses ten monument sculptures by the Park’s 2020 Artist Fellows and Part III: The Next Generation features a multi-faceted monument project collectively realized by high school students. All three parts of the exhibition remain on view through March 2021.
As part of MONUMENTS NOW, the Park’s Broadway Billboard will feature a related work by artist Nona Faustine. Furthermore, in acknowledgment of how monuments are shaped by society as well as by artists, the public is invited to share their thoughts on the exhibition and other current topics through the “Let’s Talk” education initiative.
The exhibition will be documented in an artist-focused publication made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation.
MONUMENTS NOW is organized by Socrates Sculpture Park and curated by Jess Wilcox, Socrates Curator & Director of Exhibitions.
JEFFREY GIBSON, PAUL RAMÍREZJONAS, XAVIERA SIMMONSON VIEW SUMMER 2020 – MARCH 2021
ABOUT PART I
Part I of the MONUMENTS NOW exhibition features three distinct visions for monuments by acclaimed artists Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas, and Xaviera Simmons.
Artist Jeffrey Gibson – a recipient of a 2019 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” – presents a monument to inclusion and diversity: Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House. Drawing from Indigenous Mississippian culture, architecture, activist graphic traditions, and queer performative strategies, the large-scale public sculpture projects a future vision of the world that embraces complexities within collective identity.
Jeffrey Gibson, Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, 2020. Courtesy of the artist; Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; Kavi Gupta, Chicago; Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; Image by KMDeco Creative Solutions: Mark DiConzo.
PAUL RAMÍREZ JONAS
Paul Ramírez Jonas imagines his Eternal Flame monument as a communal grill. The form honors the role of cuisine and cooking in cultural cohesion and expression among immigrant communities and identities. Eternal Flame is designed to invite dialogue and exchange.
Socrates staff grills lunch on Paul Ramiréz Jonas’ Eternal Flame, 2020, Image by Sara Morgan.
Xaviera Simmons’ contribution, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause, is composed of sculptural forms – each baring landscapes of text culled from historical documents foundational to racial disenfranchisement in the United States. The works are a monument to promises denied, offering insight into governmental policies that continue to shape the racial caste system we live within presently.
Xaviera Simmons, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery. Image by Sara Morgan.
CALL AND RESPONSEON VIEW OCTOBER 10, 2020 – MARCH 2021
ABOUT PART II
Part II of the MONUMENTS NOW exhibition, Call and Response, presents ten monuments projects realized by the Park’s 2020 Artist Fellows:
*2020 New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellows
**2020 Devra Freelander Fellow
Jenny Polak, Offshore, 2020, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo by KMDeco Creative Solutions: Mark DiConzo.
The Artist Fellows’ projects take various archetypal monumental forms – such as the arch or the column – and dedicate them to underrepresented peoples and histories. What unites their various approaches is a focus on collective agency and power, departing from the hero narrative of traditional monuments. Learn More
Bel Falleiros, Detail of America (un)known, 2020. Courtesy of the artist, Image by Nicholas Knight Studio.
THE NEXT GENERATIONON VIEW OCTOBER 10, 2020 – MARCH 2021
ABOUT PART III
The final part of the exhibition, MONUMENTS NOW: The Next Generation, looks to the future with a multi-faceted project comprising a sculpture installation and zine that were collectively realized by local high school students participating in the 2019-2020 session of Socrateens – an experimental art-making program facilitated by the Park’s Lead Educator Douglas Paulson.
The 2019-2020 Socrateens are Christopher Bisram, Johnaila Cole, Michela Farella, Sohit Gurung, Farzana Ibrahim, Anabella Orellana, Kate Panasci, Aneesa Razak, and Laura Umana. Meet the teens
The 2019-2020 Socrateens, What’s Missing, Courtesy the Artists, Image by Sara Morgan.
In Praise of Famous Men No More
By Nona Faustine
July 1, 2020 – March 2021
In conjunction with MONUMENTS NOW, the Park’s Broadway Billboard above the main entrance features artist Nona Faustine’s photographic renderings of contested American monuments – probing at the power and integrity of these symbolic icons.
Nona Faustine, In Praise of Famous Men No More, 2020, Image by Scott Lynch.
Summer 2020 – March 2021
Socrates, exhibiting artists, and Park partners created a series of events – all offered virtually due to the Coronavirus pandemic – to accompany the ‘MONUMENTS NOW‘ exhibition.
Indigenous Kinship Collective performs a Land Acknowledgment on Jeffrey Gibson’s monument installation Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House, 2020, Image by Cut/Cut/Cut: Chelsea Knight & Itziar Barrio.
“Lets Talk:” A Socially Distant Community Conversation
with Lead Educator Douglas Paulson
July – October 2020
As part of the MONUMENTS NOW exhibition, Socrates’ Lead Educator, Douglas Paulson, has designed a program, “Let’s Talk,” to facilitate safely socially-distant conversations on the most urgent topics of the current moment.
A “Let’s Talk” conversation in process. Image by Sara Morgan.
Major support for MONUMENTS NOW comes from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Ford Foundation, and VIA Art Fund. Support for an accompanying publication is made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional support for Socrates Sculpture Park’s Visual Arts programming comes from Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Charina Foundation, Cowles Charitable Trust, Mark di Suvero, Sidney E. Frank Foundation, Maxine & Stuart Frankel Foundation, Devra Freelander Artist Fund, Agnes Gund, Lambent Foundation, New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellowships, Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas W. Smith, and Spacetime C.C. Support for Socrates Sculpture Park’s Socrateens program comes from Con Edison, Robert Lehman Foundation, The Pierre & Tana Matisse Foundation, and Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
Socrates programs are also supported, in part, by public funds from the Queens Borough President; the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and Jimmy Van Bramer, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts.