How would you map the monuments of St. Louis?

In a summer research residency at the Pulitzer, Monument Lab is gathering publicly-sourced inventories of St. Louis’s symbols and sites of memory to explore this question. Titled Public Iconographies, their project includes both existing landmarks and monuments, as well as missing aspects of the city’s current landscape which are nonetheless part of the public consciousness around histories of justice and injustice, as well as equity and exclusion.

Monument Lab and a team of local collaborative researchers will work from a research field office in the museum during open hours and extend into various communities through research-gathering meet-ups at cultural sites around St. Louis. Residents and visitors are invited to submit personalized responses on paper forms, each with a hand drawn map of the city, to build an atlas of both traditional and unofficial sites of memory, whether they be existing, potential, historical, or erased. 

The goals of the project are to explore the relationship between St. Louis’s residents and the city’s inherited symbols, as a means to critically explore, represent, and update the iconography of the city. The residency will culminate in fall 2019 with the release of a publication featuring Monument Lab’s findings. Sign up below to stay updated on Monument Lab.

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Monument Lab is an independent public art and history studio based in Philadelphia. Founded by Paul Farber and Ken Lum, Monument Lab works with artists, students, activists, municipal agencies, and cultural institutions on exploratory approaches to public engagement and collective memory. Monument Lab cultivates and facilitates critical conversations around the past, present, and future of monuments. Their goal is to critically engage the public art we have inherited to reimagine public spaces through stories of social justice and equity. In doing so, they aim to inform and influence the processes of public art, as well as the permanent collections of cities, museums, libraries, and open data repositories.

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