[Workshop + Archive]

“The obsessive pursuit of memory may be an indication that our thinking and living temporality are undergoing a significant shift, as modernity [has] brought about a real compression of time and space yet also expanded horizons of time and space beyond the local” - Andreas Huyssen (Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory, 2003.

1.) Can memory truly belong to a public?

Monuments seem to demand so. Often enormous, transcendent, and even foreboding, what exactly do they ask of citizens? to feel? to remember? to act? "Monuments insist that we engage with them on something approaching their own terms, as ends rather than means, and works rather than interpretive fields or instruments."1 A sentiment that rings only half-true, as citizens find ways to resist and respond to otherwise prescriptive histories. Maybe monuments and objects of monumental scale can honor everyday events, personal memories, pop culture, censored histories, imaginary events, and more?

   This workshop and digital archive utilizes the anatomy and language of monuments to (re)imagine the past, present, and future. Artists, and monument-makers, are asked to create a symbolic, sculptural form and dedicate their work to a moment of their choice. Their monument may be impermanent, but through the living archive monument-makers will have a platform to share their own experiences and respond to others, fostering a network of objects made by young people which materialize their values and experiences.


 What is a major event in the world that currently doesn’t have a monument? / Is there an existing monument that you’d like to see re-imagined? / How would you design a monument for an event you’d want to occur in the future?


[50 min]

+ Contemporary Artists and Intro (8 minutes)
+ Monument Creation & Dedication (30 minutes)
+ Documentation & Class Reflection (10 minutes)

Cardboard, Hot Glue, Markers, Paint, Colorful tape, Construction paper, Newspaper, Magazines, Cardboard Stapler, and Foam board.



Contemporary artists look to monuments, artifacts, and memorials as a way to decipher the past, amend the present, and imagine the future. How do artists grapple with histories that are frequently exclusionary, violent, and oppressive? How can artist's find new ways to remember and assert value both within history and their own lives?

The projects featured below engage with the primary characteristics of monuments, but make distinct shifts in material, form, and subject matter in order to reconsider the monumental. 


Michael Rakowitz  May the Arrogant Not Prevail, 2010. 
Kara Walker  A Subtilty or The Marvelous Sugar Baby, 2014. 
Krzysztof Wodiczko Tijuana Projection, 2001. 
Dahn Vo  We the People, 2014. 
Amanda Ross-Ho  Cradle of Filth, 2013. 
Amanda Williams  Color(ed) Theory, 2015. 
Christo Wrapped Monument to Vittorio Emanuele, 1970. 


While, the creation of each monument prioritizes individual voice, the activities following the creation of the monuments enable critical inquiry and conversation through collaboration.

PLACING THE PIN - Following the creation and documentation of the monuments, students are encouraged to digitally insert their monuments into a location of their choice. As a means to explore how location can enhance a monument's meaning.

ESTABLISHING COMMUNITY - Completed monuments will be shared among classmates, students are asked to establish connections between existing monuments by drawing lines to and from images of completed monuments.


ARCHIVE EXAMPLE: Workshop hosted @ Harold L. Richards High School

1.) John Guillory, "Monuments and Documents: Panofsky on the Object of Study in the Humanities," History of Humanities 1, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 9-30. 

Workshop designed and lead by Amanda Konkol, for inquiries contact

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