About this Project

This project consists of an exhibition in Moscow and a workshop in Chicago to explore a pressing problem of modern and contemporary societies: what to do with monuments of the past, how to build monuments for the future. Through the reconstruction of a cardboard monument built in Spain and sent to the Soviet Union in 1937, we will recover a long-forgotten history of an artistic exchange and trigger a conversation about experimental monumentality since the 1910s to the present. The first part of this project is an exhibition at the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow. This will be the final part of the reenactment of a performative monument built and destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Following the Spanish tradition of Fallas, the monument was built by unions in Spain, sent to the USSR as a gift for the twentieth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, and burned in a ceremonial bonfire. According to Spanish communists, this was a model for how the monuments of international communism should be: built by the community, movable, ritual, transient. The construction, journey, exhibition and final immolation of the monument will be documented. The resulting material will be screened in the Neubauer Collegium, in the context of a workshop with invited artists and scholars that will discuss examples of experimental monumentality in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

IMAGE: The Falla sent from Madrid to Moscow in 2019 to commemorate the one sent in 1937. The Falla was built by Fernando Sánchez Castillo as part of the Ephemeral Treasures exhibition, held at the Shchusev State Museum of Architecture in Moscow. It was shipped to the Nikola Lenivets Art Park in Kaluga, where the ritual burning took place on August 8, 2019. 

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