“After the statues come down what happens next? Histories that disturb the present.”
The current “monument wars” are only the latest manifestation of a decades-old debate about how to represent our troubled, often violent past in public space. One possible answer to this social and artistic problem comes from the artists’ collective REPOhistory who, between 1989 and 2000, installed dozens of temporary, metal street signs in NYC and Atlanta in order to “repossess” and “remap” the unknown histories of working
women, men and children; LGBTQ and Native peoples; African Americans; Latinos, Asian Americans and the disabled among other marginalized groups typically absent from public memory (see Holland Cotter’s recent commentary in the New York Times Half-Measures Won’t Erase the Painful Past of Our Monuments). Dr. Sholette will discuss REPOhistory’s projects, as well as current conflicts involving historical representation in public spaces.