New Monuments for a Better Tomorrow, Pt 1
January 26 – February 23, NARS Project Space
Opening Reception January 26, 6-8 PM

Curated by: Jesse Bandler Firestone
Featuring: Mattia Casalegno, Peter Clough, Whitt Forrester, Catalina Ouyang, Emmaline Payette, Julia Sinelnikova, and Andre Springer

New Monuments for a Better Tomorrow brings together seven artists and their proposals for new public works. These new works are not shown as pristine 3D renderings, but are instead exhibited as artworks that utilize a range of techniques and mediums to convey their ideas to the viewer. By treating each artwork as a stand-in for an unrealized monument, the viewer is asked to use their imagination and complete the image of each proposed work. In turn, the exhibition creates a scenario where the viewer must actively imagine multiple worlds where these monuments can exist within and thus impresses the importance of collective participation in manifesting alternative realities.

All together, these artworks look critically at the commemorative qualities of monuments and take aim at the shortcomings of historical public works that do not reflect a contemporary consciousness but are emblematic reminders to marginalized groups that we live within a society that does not support victims, queers, or people of color. In turn, a number of these proposals seek to expand the function of a monument by treating public sites as places for collective healing and tools to critically examine whose histories and stories are sanctioned. Similarly, others proposals seek to directly confront social norms and societal standards by embracing taboos and openly examining aspects of capitalism and material culture that are used to justify the subjugation of Earth and the suppression of its people. Ultimately, these works posit a future that is yearned for but has yet to come.