Virtual Conversation: After The MonumentOctober 22, 2020 6:30 – 7:30pm
Paul Ramírez Jonas, ‘Eternal Flame,’ 2020, Image by Sara Morgan.
Join us for a conversation with artist Paul Ramirez Jonas; Courtenay Finn, Chief Curator at Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art; Kendal Henry, Director of Percent for Art, at NYC Department of Cultural Affairs facilitated by Jess Wilcox, Curator & Director of Exhibitions at Socrates.
The talk will focus on Ramirez Jonas’s public art works ‘Eternal Flame’ – currently on view in the ‘MONUMENTS NOW’ exhibition at Socrates – and ‘Public Trust’ – currently on view at moCa Cleveland. In anticipation of the upcoming election, the speakers will address public space as contested ground, civic participation, and the role of monuments in the contemporary culture war.
This event is produced in partnership with Galeria Nara Roesler.
Paul Ramírez Jonas
Paul Ramírez Jonas was born in Pomona, California in 1965 and raised in Honduras. Educated at Brown University (BA, 1987) and Rhode Island School of Design (MFA, 1989), Ramírez Jonas, currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Over the last twenty-five years Ramírez Jonas has created works that range from large-scale public installations and monumental sculptures to intimate drawings, performances and videos. Through his practice he seeks to challenge definitions of art and the public, engineering active audience participation and exchange. For example, his 2010 Creative Time project, ‘Key to the City,’ involved 20,000 participants and centered around a key as a vehicle for exploring social contracts pertaining to trust, access, and belonging. Keys have featured repeatedly in his work as symbols of access and exclusion as well as public and private ownership. Multiples based on everyday objects such as coins also are a reoccurring motif, allowing the artist to question notions of value, circulation, and societal rituals or behaviors. He is currently an Associate Professor at Hunter College, where he has been since 2007, and is represented Galeria Nara Roesler.
Courtenay Finn is currently the Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa). Prior to her appointment at moCa in 2019, she was Senior Curator at the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) where she organized thematic exhibitions such as Lost Without Your Rhythm, Gravity & Grace, and The Revolution Will Not Be Gray; as well as solo exhibitions of Margaret Kilgallen, Yto Barrada, Haris Epaminonda, Mickalene Thomas, Anna Sew Hoy, and Alice Channer. From 2011-2014 she was the curator at Art in General where she commissioned new work by Letha Wilson, robbinschilds, Katrin Sigurdardottir, and Mounira Al Solh. In 2013 she was the co-curator of North by Northeast, the Latvian Pavilion for the 55th edition of the Venice Biennale.
Kendal Henry is an artist and curator who lives in New York City and specializes in the field of public art for over 30 years. He illustrates that public art can be used as a tool for social engagement, civic pride and economic development through the projects and programs he’s initiated in the US and internationally.
He’s currently the Director of NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program and an adjunct professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. A guest lecturer at various universities and educational institutions including Rhode Island School of Design Senior Studio; and Pratt Institute’s Arts and Cultural Management Program. Kendal served as the Director of Culture and Economic Development for the City of Newburgh, NY where he created the region’s first Percent for Art Program. Prior to that post he was Manager of Arts Programs at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Arts for Transit for eleven years. During this time, he has overseen the commissioning, fabrication and installation of MTA’s permanent art projects, served as a member of the MTA’s in-house design team, and produced temporary exhibitions at Grand Central Terminal.
Kendal was also the Curator-at-large at the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, NY and was elected to serve two 3-year terms on the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Council.
Jess Wilcox is the Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park. Since joining Socrates in 2016, she has curated several group and solo exhibitions including Chronos Cosmos: Deep Time, Open Space; Virginia Overton: Built; Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again, and the Socrates Annual exhibitions, and Folly the architectural competition. From 2011-2015 she worked at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum organizing public programs and public artworks and where she co-curatedAgitprop!, an exhibition of historical and contemporary political art. She has curated shows at Abrons Art Center, ISCP and SculptureCenter, among other venues. She has a BA from Barnard College and a Master’s degree from Bard CCS.