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

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