Monument Lab: A Conversation with Co-Founder Paul Farber and Research Director Laurie Allen

Monument Lab is a Philadelphia-based independent public art and history studio critically engaging the past, present, and future of monuments.

Join Monument Lab Co-Founder Paul Farber and Research Director Laurie Allen in discussion of the new book Monument Lab, and related work in Philadelphia, here in St. Louis (with Pulitzer Arts Foundation), and beyond to critically engage public art and reimagine public spaces through stories of social justice and equity.

In collaboration with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and local community researchers, Monument Lab has gathered a publicly-sourced inventory of St. Louis’s symbols and sites of memory in order to explore the question: How would you map the monuments of St. Louis? The ongoing project, titled Public Iconographies, focuses on both existing landmarks and monuments and aspects of the city’s current landscape that are not memorialized but are nonetheless part of the public consciousness of the city’s histories of justice and injustice, as well as equity and exclusion. Using these data (over 700 maps), the researchers are building an atlas of both traditional and unofficial sites of memory, and exploring the relationship between St. Louis’s residents and the city’s inherited symbols, as a means to critically explore, represent, and update the iconography of the city.

This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of African and African American Studies and Sociology, with support from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and Washington University Bookstore.

Photo: People taking selfies with Hank Willis Thomas’ Afro pick sculpture, “All Power to All People,” installed on Philadelphia's Thomas Paine Plaza during a Monument Lab exhibit (Credit: Emma Lee/WHYY)

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