With colonialist statues being toppled in America and beyond, for its forthcoming Fall Women’s Fashion issue, the New York Times Style Magazine T asked five artists to envision a different kind of memorial, one that embodies this moment of reckoning:
“...T asked five artists, including the activist group and artistic collective Decolonize This Place, to imagine their own monument: It could be of anyone, or anything, and be placed anywhere (or replace anything). The works or concepts they created range from the explicit, such as Ibrahim Mahama’s statue of Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, on the campus of Nkrumah’s alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, to the more theoretical, such as Tourmaline’s plans to turn the Rikers Island penitentiary complex into a pleasure garden. Collectively, they are an argument for rethinking the very idea of a monument itself: something that, instead of celebrating history, grapples with it — and then suggests a way to look forward, into a more just future.”
In her editor’s letter, T editor Hanya Yanagihara writes:
“For our story “America’s Monuments, Reimagined for a More Just Future,” we asked five contemporary artists to create a monument for America today: for an America as it was, as it should be and as it could be. One of the artists chose to imagine a statue, to celebrate a person whose significance and accomplishments were ignored and neglected. Others conceived of America itself as a monument, assigning the very land for different uses. Such a notion suggests that any nation is a palimpsest, one whose history can be rewritten, again and again. It’s a powerful idea. But it starts by first taking the pen from the authors we’ve always had — and giving it to someone else.”
The issue comes out on Sunday, August 30.