Grace of Intention: Photography, Architecture and the Monument

Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Grace of Intention: Photography, Architecture and the Monument

Monuments are deliberate gestures—objects or structures created to commemorate an event, person or era. Their meaning is usually imposed, and they often serve as focal points for aspirational civic and political attributes like valor and sacrifice, or to underscore a foundational political narrative. But their meaning can transform, changing over time as the relevance of their symbolism ebbs and flows due to social and political shifts. 

Like monuments, architecture and photography are also inflected with a grace of intention, and both have the ability to commemorate or represent a nation, event, time or place. The act of photographing monuments and buildings transforms them, sometimes revealing some of the original qualities and more closely evoking the response that they were originally intended to have. And photographs have an inherent memorial quality. This group exhibition examines the work of international artists, some of whose work addresses actual monuments, some whom look at architecture and its relationship to memory and how its importance and symbolism can shift over time, and others approach the idea of the future monument.  

 

Image credit: Florian Joye, Bawadi, 2006

Upcoming Events

Eighth Blackbird

Eighth Blackbird

Join the Chicago-based, four-time Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird for a special performance at the MoCP. Experience a musical journey through the museum, as the ensemble ...

Read more

Lecture in Photography: Teju Cole - Writing and Thinking Photography

Lecture in Photography: Teju Cole - Writing and Thinking Photography

Go Down Moses curator Teju Cole will give a public lecture about his various photographic practices. Drawing on his experiences as a photographer, critic, teacher, ...

Read more

Opening Reception

Opening Reception

Join the MoCP for the opening reception for Third Realm. ...

Read more

Curatorial Tour and Gallery Talk

Curatorial Tour and Gallery Talk

Join guest curator Davide Quadrio for a special tour of Third Realm. Exhibiting artist Jompet Kuswidananto will be present to discuss his work. ...

Read more

Photos at Noon: Contemporary Photography in China and Beyond

Photos at Noon: Contemporary Photography in China and Beyond

Get to know the museum’s collection with this ongoing series of public print viewings. Drop in to learn about some of the museum’s best works ...

Read more
Past Events

Photos at Noon: Viewer's Choice

Photos at Noon: Viewer's Choice

Photos at Noon: Viewer's Choice

MoCP

Get to know the museum’s collection with a series of public print viewings led by MoCP’s curator of academic programs and collections. Drop in to ...

Read more

Photos at Noon: Recent Acquisitions

Photos at Noon: Recent Acquisitions

Photos at Noon: Recent Acquisitions

MoCP

Get to know the museum’s collection with a series of public print viewings led by MoCP’s curator of academic programs and collections. Drop in to ...

Read more

Teen Night

Teen Night

Teen Night

MoCP

Chicago teens are invited to participate in teen-led workshops and more! Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mocp-teen-night-tickets-64384604084 ...

Read more

Opening Reception: Go Down Moses

Opening Reception: Go Down Moses

Opening Reception: Go Down Moses

Join the Museum of Contemporary Photography for the opening reception of Go Down Moses. ...

Read more