This program will be recorded and made available following the event. You will find it on this page and on our YouTube channel.

We define monument as “a statement of power and presence in public.” – Monument Lab

Curator and historian Paul Farber and artist Ken Lum join Hirshhorn associate curator Anne Reeve for a discussion on their independent art and history studio Monument Lab, which works across creative and civic disciplines to cultivate critical conversations around monuments and collective memory.

As monuments undergo renewed scrutiny, Monument Lab’s efforts to reimagine the role of symbols and systems of justice in public space are more important today than ever. Founded by Farber and Lum in 2012, Monument Lab’s projects have engaged people in challenging the role of monuments through a combination of citywide art exhibitions, site-specific commissions, research initiatives, online journals, podcasts, workshops, and more. The studio emerged from a series of classroom conversations in courses taught by Farber and Lum, and grew through a spirit of collaboration into a project to collect monument proposals from thousands of everyday people. This effort led to a 2017 exhibition of temporary prototype monuments by twenty artists across ten sites in Philadelphia. Since then, the sudio has launched a national fellows program; expanded conversations around monuments, memory, and belonging to print and online platforms; and has continued to work with individuals, cultural organizations, and municipal governments to shift the understanding and influence of monuments to be more inclusive of a broader perspective.

Our goal is to critically engage the public art we have inherited in order to reimagine public spaces through stories of social justice and equity. In doing so, we aim to change the ways we write history in public together. – Monument Lab

This virtual event is part of Talking to Our Time, the Hirshhorn’s online series of free, live artist talks featuring a diverse group of artists and collectives. View all events! The project is also in conjunction with #HirshhornInsideOut, the Museum’s initiative to bring art into your home.