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

Photos at Noon: Race and Representation

Photos at Noon: Race and Representation

Photos at Noon: Race and Representation

MoCP Print Study Room

Get to know the museum's collection this summer with a series of public print viewings. Drop in to learn about some of the museum’s ...

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Photos at Noon: Fundamentals of Photography

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Photos at Noon: Fundamentals of Photography

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Get to know the museum's collection this summer with a series of public print viewings. MoCP's curator of academic programs and collections will lead a ...

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Urban Nature Walk

Urban Nature Walk

Urban Nature Walk

Meet at Lurie Garden, Millenium Park

Join artist Lucas Foglia and author Gavin Van Horn (Center for Humans and Nature) for a guided urban nature walk. Starting at the Lurie Garden, ...

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MoCP Teen Night

MoCP Teen Night

MoCP Teen Night

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Chicago teens are invited to participate in an evening of teen-led programs including art-making, interactive gallery workshops, and more! ...

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Photos at Noon: Portraiture and the Human Subject

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Photos at Noon: Portraiture and the Human Subject

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Get to know the museum's collection this summer with a series of public print viewings. MoCP's curator of academic programs and collections will lead a ...

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Family Day: Natural Elements

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Photos at Noon: Landscape and Place

Photos at Noon: Landscape and Place

Photos at Noon: Landscape and Place

MoCP Print Study Room

Get to know the museum's collection this summer with a series of public print viewings. MoCP's curator of academic programs and collections will lead a ...

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Photos at Noon: Constructed and Staged Images

Photos at Noon: Constructed and Staged Images

Photos at Noon: Constructed and Staged Images

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Get to know the museum's collection this summer with a series of public print viewings. MoCP's curator of academic programs and collections will lead a ...

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Florence Williams: The Nature Fix

Florence Williams: The Nature Fix

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Past Events

Beyond Black Panther: Celebrating Sci-Fi in Books and Comic Books

Beyond Black Panther: Celebrating Sci-Fi in Books and Comic Books

Beyond Black Panther: Celebrating Sci-Fi in Books and Comic Books

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In conjunction with Columbia College Chicago’s Manifest Urban Arts Festival, MoCP will host an interactive celebration of science fiction in books and comic books. Stop ...

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Lecture in Photography: Lesley A. Martin

Lecture in Photography: Lesley A. Martin

Lecture in Photography: Lesley A. Martin

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Lesley A. Martin is creative director and publisher of The PhotoBook Review at Aperture. Her writing on photography has been published in Aperture, American Photo, ...

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Post Now and Post New: Afrofuturist Themes in Contemporary Art Practice

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Jennifer Scott will lead a discussion with D.Denenge Duyst-Akpem and Ingrid LaFleur on Afrofuturist themes in contemporary art and how they inform artistic practice in ...

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Special Teen Workshop: Afrofuturist Art + Writing

Special Teen Workshop: Afrofuturist Art + Writing

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