Thursday, July 05, 2012

Call For Proposals : Monument to Cold War Victory

Despite what you might think if you listened to some of Mitt Romney's advisers, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States of America has long been over. And, in case you didn't know, technically the US actually won! 
Wahoo!!!... USA...USA...USA!!!!
Perhaps not surprisingly though (given that there was a 42-year gap between the end of the Korean war and the dedication of the national Korean War Memorial, for one example), we still have no national monument to herald this momentous vanquishing of what President Reagan had called the "Evil Empire." Granted, some folks around here are rather liberal with the use of that term, but still...if you defeat an "evil empire" it would seem to be nationally noteworthy. And besides, monuments can help at least one artist get a potentially lucrative commission and/or at least fame and glory.
And so I am very pleased to direct the attention of you artists out there (anywhere) to the following (real) call for proposals: 


The Committee for Tacit History is issuing a call for proposals for a Monument to Cold War Victory, an open-call competition for a public monument commemorating the outcome of the Cold War. Artists from around the world are encouraged to submit proposals by November 1, 2012.
Monument to Cold War Victory is a conceptual project by the artist Yevgeniy Fiks, taking the form of an open-call, international competition for a public, commemorative work of art. For over two decades, public signifiers of the Cold War, such as the Berlin Wall, have been framed in terms of destruction and kitsch. A monument created at the moment of its own destruction, the Wall encapsulates the continuing geopolitical imagination of the conflict as linear, continuous, binary, and terminal: the culmination of a now-historicized narrative of competing empires. But while the impact of half a century of sustained ideological conflict still reverberates through all forms of public and private experience—from Middle Eastern geographies of containment to the narrative structures of Hollywood—it has yet to be acknowledged through a public and monumental work of art. The Cold War, the longest and most influential conflict of the twentieth century, has no publicly commissioned commemoration in the United States.
This project examines the enduring genre of war monuments, memorials, and institutionally framed and commissioned artworks. How might the legacy of the Cold War, in all its complex material, social, and cultural forms, be visually articulated? In what ways might the notion of “victory,” implicit in all retroactive commemorations of conflict, be interpreted? Can the traditional, formal structure of the monument, and the historical revisionism endemic to that form, be redefined?
Artists are invited to participate in this project by submitting a proposal for a public monument commemorating the outcome of the Cold War by November 1, 2012. All submissions must be made through the website: Submissions should include: a one-page narrative text on your proposed work and its relationship to the legacy of the Cold War, the notion of “victory,” and its reevaluation (if any) of the monument form; a visual schema in the form of three images; and an artist CV. A select number of finalists will be awarded a stipend and the opportunity to further develop their proposal for an institutional exhibition. The submitter of the winning proposal will be awarded a cash prize, and their concept will be implemented and installed in a publicly accessible location, to be determined, in the United States.
Monument to Cold War Victory will be juried by a distinguished panel of cultural and intellectual figures, including Vito Acconci, Susan Buck-Morss, Boris Groys, Vitaly Komar, Viktor Misiano, and Nato Thompson.
For further information, contact curator Stamatina Gregory,
This project is initiated by The Committee for Tacit History, an international curatorial collective and research body dedicated to furthering interdisciplinary, practice-based investigations in history and visual culture.


Blogger nathaniel said...

This is really great. It reminds me a bit of Joe DeLappe's (brilliant artist) - but also remembers the repetition of our mistakes...

7/05/2012 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Enry said...

good idea. the use must to do a monument for that.

7/05/2012 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Richard G. Crockett said...

Well, I've been reading this blog, off and on, for years. Today I decided I would finally offer a comment. As a challenge to myself, I thought it would be interesting to see if I could do that with whatever was the latest post.

So here you go.

While reading this article, I had a definite idea for a piece. The idea is took take some example a of classical Soviet public art... I'm thinking of this steel installation ca. 1917-21 that looked like a tilted ziggurat. I believe it was called, or part of something called, "The Industrial." Perhaps readers here might know the work of which I speak. But he idea is to take a famous piece of communist public art, and shit on it.

Maybe some big, fat eagle poop all over it.

It could be done more metaphorically, of course, but the concept remains, rather like Adolph Hitler's drawing of a giant arch over The Arch of Triumph in Paris.

So there's the perspective from the Russian point of view. They had a dream too, you know?

This would NOT win the prize, but it would sure be a lot more interesting than the maudlin thing that will, no doubt, win.


7/06/2012 03:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want something authentic to come of this may I suggest age and country restrictions for the project.

7/06/2012 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger William Miller said...

I imagine a mural where dozens of rich American oligarchs on one side meet dozens of new Russian oligarchs on the other. They laugh through cigar smoke, shake hands, exchange business cards and stuff money into each others' pockets. What can barely be seen underneath is that they're held up on a platform that is crushing the working poor of both countries. Off to the side Marx throws up in Hegel's lap.

Now, that's what I call Diego Rivera subtle.

7/11/2012 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

HI Ed,

Just to put this out there as an fyi, there are a couple of websites that already identify efforts for such a memorial autonomous from this open call:

But I think the open call invites a more collective memory and shared experience of the cultural and societal environment surrounding the Cold War Victory.

8/19/2012 04:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Cold War Memorial seems to already be under way:

I think the open call asks for a more collective experience from a cultural and societal stance. I hope that the lessons of what fear,
surveillance, and isolation created divisively, and the methods to over come them are what ought to be memorialized.
How that is done and proposed will be fascinating to witness.
I sure wish I was on the jury!

8/19/2012 04:58:00 PM  

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