Monument Lab

Exhibition Info
Curated by
Mural Arts Philadelphia
Mural Arts Philadelphia's citywide public art and history project featuring 22 artists, with PAFA as its orientation and information hub.

A roster of 20 artists, hailing from Philadelphia and from locations around the world, who will create temporary public art in 10 locations across the city for Monument Lab this fall.

PAFA will serve as the central hub for Monument Lab, with visually dynamic displays of incoming public proposals and data.

Monument Lab is a nine-week citywide public art and history project co-produced by Mural Arts Philadelphia and curators Paul Farber, Ken Lum, and A. Will Brown. The exhibition will take place in the city's five original William Penn squares as well as five neighborhood parks throughout Philadelphia.

PAFA will be the information hub for the project, where all the proposals for Philadelphia monuments of the future, generated around the city during the project, will be scanned and exhibited, culminating in a new museum of ideas and creative data, built by and for the people.

Some of the highlights include: Tania Bruguera creating a monument to the “new immigrant,” Mel Chin making a monument for “me and you,” Tyree Guyton tackling opioid addiction and recovery, Sharon Hayes addressing the lack of women in public art, and Jamel Shabazz recognizing African American veterans. The complete list of artists is below.

What makes a monument in the 21st century? Mural Arts Philadelphia has invited 20 artists to answer this question for the current city of Philadelphia with an unprecedented series of temporary installations in Philadelphia’s parks by local and international artists. The public art will be accompanied by interactive pop-up “laboratories” for creative conversations and research collected by youth art guides. During open hours, staff will be present at all labs to distribute information, answer questions, prompt participation, and collect submissions from members of the public.

The selected artists are:

  • Tania Bruguera, Havana/New York City/Cambridge
  • Mel Chin, Egypt, North Carolina
  • Kara Crombie, Philadelphia
  • Tyree Guyton, Detroit
  • Hans Haacke, New York City
  • David Hartt, Philadelphia
  • Sharon Hayes, Philadelphia
  • King Britt and Joshua Mays, Philadelphia and Oakland
  • KLIP Collective, Philadelphia
  • Duane Linklater, North Bay, Ontario
  • Emeka Ogboh, Lagos/Berlin
  • Karyn Olivier, Philadelphia
  • Michelle Angela Ortiz, Philadelphia
  • Kaitlin Pomerantz, Philadelphia
  • RAIR (Recycled Artist in Residency), Philadelphia
  • Alexander Rosenberg, Philadelphia
  • Jamel Shabazz, New York City
  • Hank Willis Thomas, New York City
  • Shira Walinsky and Southeast by Southeast, Philadelphia
  • Marisa Williamson, New York City

Monument Lab projects will be temporary works of public art created in a variety of media including sculpture, performance, projection, sound, and of course, murals. The projects will cover topics such as engagement of public space, equality and social justice, refugee and immigrant issues, opioid addiction and recovery, gentrification and land use, indigenous history, recycling and sustainability, youth voice, Philadelphia music, and neighborhood culture. The complete list of projects will be announced in the spring.

Community Programs

Monument Lab Live: How to Build a Monument
September 13th, 6:00 pm (Lecture)

October 6th, 7:00pm (Party)

Monument Lab Live: Hidden Histories and Missing Monuments
October 18th, 6:00 pm (Lecture)

Monument Lab Live: Civic Action and Activism
November 1st, 6:00 pm (Lecture)

Monument Lab Live: Futures of Memory
November 15th, 6:00pm (Lecture)