White Columns

Gallery Monuments for the USA, curated by Ralph Rugoff

Featured artists: Allora & Calzadilla, Tariq Alvi, Janine Antoni, Edgar Arceneaux, Artemio, Robert Beck, Michel Blazy, Monica Bonvicini, Andrea Bowers, Fernando Bryce, Los Carpinteros, Paul Chan, Adam Chodzko, Martin Creed, Enrico David, Jeremy Deller, Thomas Demand, Jessica Diamond, Sam Durant, Shannon Ebner, Elmgreen & Dragset, Meschac Gaba, Anya Gallaccio, Hans Haacke, Susan Hiller, Thomas Hirschhorn, Chris Johanson & Kal Spelletich, Michael Joo, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Brad Kahlhamer, Barbara Kruger, Gabriel Kuri, Ken Lum, Jason Meadows, Aleksandra Mir, Liliana Moro, Mike Nelson, Paul Noble, Yoshua Okon, Jennifer Pastor, Kirsten Pieroth, Paola Pivi, Marjetica Potrc, Tobias Putrih, Qiu Zhijie, Rigo 23, Matthew Ronay, Michael Ross, Santiago Sierra, Gary Simmons, Yutaka Sone, Frances Stark, Michael Stevenson, Do-Ho Suh, Torolab, Shirley Tse, Jeffrey Vallance, Mark Wallinger, Olav Westphalen, Xu Zhen, Zhang Huan.

For this exhibition, Ralph Rugoff invited over 50 international artists to devise proposals for a monument for the United States of America. Freed from contextual, budgetary, or practical constraints, the proposals reflect each artist's ideas about the type of monument the people of the United States currently need or deserve.
Their proposals may address particular values or ideals, group or individual histories, institutions or places. The nature of these hypothetical monuments, meanwhile, may be material or immaterial, permanent or ephemeral, practical or whimsical.
Speaking about the genesis of the exhibition Rugoff has stated: "I began planning this show last summer, largely in response to my distress over the political situation in the USA. It seemed to me that the United States has fundamentally changed, and that proposals for monuments would be an interesting way for artists to address the country's remodeled profile, along with the current direction, character and behavior of the citizens of what is arguably the world's oldest continuing democratic state. I was definitely not interested in narrow ideas of political art, however, such as works that would protest against specific events, like the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Instead, this project asked for proposals that could illuminate the broader, and contradictory, social landscape of the contemporary United States."
Taking the form of drawings, diagrams, maquettes, photo collages, written descriptions, wall paintings, sculptural models, or other media, the proposals will occupy all of the gallery spaces at White Columns. A full color, 160 page catalog (distributed by DAP) accompanies the exhibition.
“Monuments For The USA” was originally organized by the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA. (www.wattis.org).
Ralph Rugoff is currently the Director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts. He has organized more than 20 exhibitions, most recently “A Brief History of Invisible Art” for the CCA Wattis institute. His writings have appeared in Frieze, Artforum, and numerous catalogs and books (including recent monographs on George Condo, Richard Prince, and Paul McCarthy amongst many others.) His 1995 essay collection “Circus Americanus” (Verso) remains the definitive response to the eccentric psychogeography of Southern California.

Related Press

Monuments For The USA, Curated By Ralph Rugoff - ArtNews - April 2006

Monuments For The USA, Curated By Ralph Rugoff - Time Out New York - January 19-25, 2006