Monument Lab Returns to Philadelphia

Monument Lab Returns to Philadelphia

This Thursday – tomorrow!! – Monument Lab, a project headed by Associate Professor Paul Farber and partially sponsored by HCAH, returns! In this iteration, Monument Lab is part of Design Philadelphia downtown. In its own words, Monument Lab asks, “Through a series of art installations, public events, and community-sourced maps, the project asks a central guiding question: What is an appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia?” This isn’t the first time DeCentered has covered Monument Lab – a number of students, including Aaliyah Allen ’18, worked on the project over the summer. Haverford’s involvement doesn’t end there: Hilary Brashear ’13 produced this video, which captures the presence of Monument Lab this past summer. The opening event is happening TOMORROW at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, a few minutes walk from Jefferson station. Find out all the relevant details at the facebook event here. The opening is free and open to the...
Memory, Monuments, and Urban Space: Alliyah Allen ’18 on Monument Lab

Memory, Monuments, and Urban Space: Alliyah Allen ’18 on Monument Lab

This semester, Alliyah Allen ’18 is working with Writing Fellow Paul Farber on Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia, a massive public art and urban research project he co-curated that is taking over Philadelphia’s City Hall starting May 15th.  Through a series of art installations, public events, and community-sourced maps, the project asks a central guiding question: What is the appropriate monument for the current city of Philadelphia? Supported by the Hurford Center’s Tuttle Fund for the Development of Visual Culture across the Curriculum, Alliyah is one of a number of Haverford students, staff, and faculty working on the project.  Below, she shares her thoughts on Monument Lab, its timeliness within current national discourse on race, class, and the usages of public space, and how her work fits into her larger academic projects at Haverford. HCAH: How did you become interested in monuments and involved in the project? What is your role in Monument Lab? ALLIYAH ALLEN ’18: Last semester I took Professor Paul Farber’s Memory, Monuments, and Urban Space class for my Haverford Writing Seminar, and since then my perspective on the relationship between public art, monuments, and history has shifted drastically. I am from Newark, New Jersey and have been immersed in urban culture for the majority of my life. Prior to my work in this course and participation in the lab, I didn’t have much of an appreciation for public art or monuments. The deterioration and lack of resources had given me the impression that success was not welcomed in my community and that history could not be made there. However, taking this course and my participation in the Monument...
American Rubble: Hushed Light Situations and Rubble Scans

American Rubble: Hushed Light Situations and Rubble Scans

As I am swept along by “the quarter that gives no quarter” (in the words of James Weissinger) I find myself nostalgic for a certain brisk winter evening first semester, where I got to eat popcorn, browse postcards, and immerse myself in Lancaster Avenue fact and lore … I am, of course, referring to the one-night-only exhibit American Rubble, organized by Stephanie Syjuco and Paul Farber. The evening of December 5, 2014 may be long gone, but we can all relive the engaging and exciting series of events that was, and is, American Rubble. Oh, and in case your curiosity is piqued by the phrase “Rubble Scan,” watch this. For humor and hypnosis, this video beats any Buzzfeed...
American Rubble

American Rubble

Paul Farber, a Postdoctoral Writing Fellow at Haverford, answers all your questions about the most exciting First Friday since FAB had that cooking class in Reading Terminal Market. 1.Can you tell me a little bit about the event? What/Who/Where/When? American Rubble is an artist residency, symposium, and temporary exhibition on Tuesday, Dec 2 and Friday, Dec 5 that seeks to explore the ways we engage the economic and architectural transformations occurring currently in many contemporary cities, especially Philadelphia.  The events center around artist Stephanie Syjuco’s developing project, American Rubble, in which she seeks to collect and archive pieces of urban rubble, to convey and compare histories of the present. Syjuco will be in collaboration and conversation with students from several Haverford classes, and a group of prominent scholars/artists of cultural memory including Camilo J. Vergara, Susanne Slavick, Joshua Clover, and Salamishah Tillet. 2. When did you start organizing American Rubble? How did the idea start? I first discovered Syjuco’s work when researching American artists who engage the history and memory of the Berlin Wall. Her series “Berlin Wall” was a critical and creative intervention against Cold War triumphalism, as well as an invitation to consider the multiple ways we imagine and consume history. Syjuco and I began corresponding about her project, and she became one of the artists included in the exhibition “The Wall in Our Heads” I curated this Fall in Washington D.C. (Which will be traveling to Haverford’s CFG Gallery next Fall.) We met for the first time in Berlin last summer, but for months prior had discussed next directions for this work. We realized we had a...