Monument | Anti-Monument, Panel 1 NIRBHAYA —TWO SISTER MONUMENTS
Monument | Anti-Monument
Creative Exchange Lab | Center for Architecture & Design STL (CEL), proudly announces a program of six virtual, international panel discussions collectively titled Monument | Anti-Monument. Moderated by Rick Bell, the program takes place in conjunction with two concurrent solo exhibitions: Monika Weiss – Monument | Anti-Monument (March 31st – April 22nd, 2021) at CEL, and Monika Weiss: Nirbhaya (March 27th – May 22nd, 2021) at the Centre for Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, a National Heritage Institution of Poland. Inspired by the work of the internationally celebrated Polish-American artist Monika Weiss and her paradigm-shifting monument/anti-monument project Nirbhaya the panels bring together artists, architects, activists, and historians to debate the role of monuments and commemorative design in shaping cultural identity.
The work of Monika Weiss is predicated on the act of unforgetting past traumas. It has particular resonance at this time when we rethink our histories and ways of remembering. In Nirbhaya, a memorial dedicated to victims of everyday violence that occurs globally, and named after Jyoti Singh, who was tortured, raped and killed at the age of 23 (posthumously named Nirbhaya, “Fearless” in Hindi) the artist transforms the traditional vertical form of a triumphal arch into a horizontal sarcophagus filled with water and moving image. This forthcoming permanent outdoor memorial by Monika Weiss will be built as two sister monuments, in Poland and in the US. Polish location is in the public park of the Centre for Polish Sculpture in Orońsko. US location is co-organized in collaboration with Streaming Museum. The six panel discussions are scheduled bi-weekly on Fridays: March 12, March 26, April 9, April 23, May 7 and May 21. All panels take place at 12 Noon (CST), 1PM (EST), 20:00 (GMT), 21:00 (GMT+1).
Nirbhaya: Two Sister Monuments
Panel 1 discusses Nirbhaya memorial in the context of Monika Weiss’ art which, “speaks against violence at levels that reach back to the most archaic origins of ritual confrontations with life and death, terror and pathos” (Griselda Pollock). It looks at Nirbhaya in the context of the ancient traditions of Lament understood as musical and political gesture within public sphere. Through the artist’s use of prolonged slow time, horizontality and shared lamentation her art addresses forgotten or erased histories of violence especially those committed against women. Panel 1 offers a look into the background history of Nirbhaya, which the artist began in 2015 with a series of short experimental films and sound works, Two Laments (19 Cantos), chiefly among them Canto 4 created in collaboration with the late Indian poet, Meena Alexander. As a monument devoted to forgotten victims of everyday violence, which the artist named after Jyoti Singh, Panel 1 investigates Nirbhaya also responding to traditions of victorious monumentality and colonialism as represented by triumphal arches, specifically India Gate, which Monika Weiss symbolically places down to undo its victorious verticality.
Panel 1 is moderated by Rick Bell and includes the artist as well as speakers: Griselda Pollock, Gwen Moore, Dorota Monkiewicz, Tyler Meyr, and David Lelyveld.
To register and RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nirbhaya-two-sister-monuments-panel-discussion-1-tickets-142610462733