Proposals on Monumentality

Green Art Gallery

October 31, 2014

2 November 2014–4 January 2015

Opening: 2 November

Green Art Gallery
Al Quoz 1, Street 8,
Alserkal Avenue, Unit 28
P.O. Box 25711
Dubai, UAE

T + 9714 346 9305
info [​at​]

Green Art Gallery presents Proposals on Monumentality, a group exhibition that brings together the works of Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Iman Issa, Christian Jankowski, Amina Menia, Seher Shah and Santiago Sierra.

The exhibition attempts to twist and open up our perception of monumentality along with complex dynamics of commemoration, space and power. Curated by İpek Ulusoy Akgül, the exhibition poses a set of questions for us to reflect upon: Can monuments go beyond representing the past and evoking collective memory? Is it possible for them to resist absorption into memorial narratives? How can monuments express fragmentation and forgetting?

Working across different histories and geographies, Proposals on Monumentality offers possible scenarios and alternative perceptions for monuments. Both Christian Jankowski and Aslı Çavuşoğlu make specific references to historical monuments: the former humorously suggests a need to fight or challenge history, while the latter rephrases the fragile story of a long-gone memorial. Similarly, Amina Menia gazes at the often-forgotten (and sometimes ignored or harmed) monuments as she draws on Nietzsche: “the past must be forgotten if it is not to become the gravedigger of the present.” While Seher Shah demonstrates a formal exploration into monumentality through strong visual gestures, Iman Issa and Santiago Sierra present alternative structures through abstracting an existing monument and imagining a new one respectively.

As architecture receives increasing significance in the Gulf, iconic landmark buildings and large-scale museum projects—both agents of urban branding—are popularly described as “monuments.” Moreover, the development and redevelopment of cities, in other words constant flux of urban fabric, lead to feelings of dislocation and even spatial amnesia. In light of the region’s changing political context and urban environment, it is much needed to revisit monumentality’s complex relation to memory as well as spatial and political dynamics.

For more information, please contact the gallery at info [​at​] or
T +971 4 346 9305.