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Removed Monuments / Shifted Narratives


by Aniko Erdosi

In 1979 Michael Asher removed a statue of George Washington from the Art Institute of Chicago entrance and placed it in Gallery 219 as part of an installation. His act posed questions regarding our relationship to history and raised one of the most relevant issues of art theory and practice of the time: the criticism of institutionalized art. But what factors inspire artists to remove public monuments today? And how can these impulses toward removal be interpreted in a global and local, a social and artistic context?

Little Warsaw, Monument contra Cathedral (instauratio), 2004. Installation featuring József Somogyi’s statue of János Szántó Kovács.

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