06 Monuments and History

an article on why every statue should be taken down

This statue obsession mistakes adulation for history, history for heritage and heritage for memory. It attempts to detach the past from the present, the present from morality, and morality from responsibility. In short, it attempts to set our understanding of what has happened in stone, beyond interpretation, investigation or critique.1

… i like monuments and, as the article suggests, i don’t so much like them for the history they may or may not teach me, i like having landmarks in the landscape to navigate by… every monument is one group of individuals idea of what or who is important to remember and given that there are all kinds of groups of individuals that have different ideas about what is memorable, there seems actually to be a lack of monuments in the landscape…

… given that we are entering an era where we can virtually place monuments in the landscape, perhaps we could have a program that corrects the deficiency… one could personalize their monument landscape, just as one makes a play list for a trip, one would make a monument list for their journeys, daily or otherwise… there could be a monument top 100, identifying the relevant monument the most people preferred for a given site… we could then take down all the old analog monuments and do something else with the space…