Wk B8 – Lauren Woods: American MONUMENT

The class of ART110 visited our University Art Museum today to view the piece made by Lauren Woods called the American MONUMENT. A visually contrastive art piece compared to the other pieces I have seen during our 8 weeks: sadly it is currently in pause. Lauren Woods is a visionary conceptual artist whose projects of media includes film, video and sound installations to view and spread awareness regarding the socio-politics of the current times. She explores how traditional monument-making can be translated into new contemporary models of commemoration, substituting the traditional marble and granite for new media.

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As mentioned above, this fascinating art piece is currently in hold because the university fired Kimberli Meyer; she was collaborating with Lauren. Lauren sees the University’s terminating of Kimberli Meyer as proceeding with the violence that her work tries to address. Given that, she felt that pausing the work was her solitary choice; because external pressure was a lot to handle and was vastly expensive to go further with the investigations regarding the termination.

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As for my classmate and I, we were unable to experience the actual /complete art peice. But, we did get the opportunity to glance and tour around the turntables (without the intended) records – of the sounds of the end of someone’s life. We did get to see the voices of the victims. (Picture above). We saw the empty aluminum boxes (picture below) where case materials for each of the victims would have been. Also, we saw void cases and other crude components of American MONUMENT. I figure we can, at least theoretically, comprehend a decent measure of what American MONUMENT would have been.

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American MONUMENT isn’t actually about gun violence. It’s about bigotry, racism and police brutality that is residing in The United States. In any case, police shootings exist with regards to a country’s firearm culture. The United States – albeit one of a kind – is among the countries of the world where there is passion for firearm ownership, but is also prone to mass shootings. Comparing U.S to Nepal (my home country) we have very strict gun rules. If I’m not mistaken, one cannot own pistols, and owning a sniper rifle or shotgun is very difficult because it is difficult to gain a license for them.

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In conclusion, I would have preferred to see the completed version of American MONUMENT, but regardless, I understand and comprehend what it wants to convey and what it stands for. I hope they find a way to solve this issue so that everyone can appreciate and fully experience what this art piece wants to convey.

Thanks for reading!

O.U.

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