Study for a Monument

Ongoing performance

6 October, 2018


Material: Photos


Stefano Romano

Title: Study for a Monument

Medium: Ongoing performance

Material: Photos

Dimension: Various dimensions

Courtesy: The artist

Year: 2014


“Study for a Monument” is born from a series of questions: How has the idea of a monument changed today? Is it still possible to conceive of the monument in terms of a base and a figure above it that communicates something important to the rest of the people? It seems to me that today the idea of the monument is closer to an empty pedestal, first of all because of the difficulty of identifying a figure capable of supporting the weight of being a monument, and secondly because the values to be transmitted to the people change at the same velocity with which our society absorbs the present.

This means, in my view, that the monument should represent values with the same speed, and then leave the pedestal empty again, waiting to host a new person who wishes to transmit their values to the world for a few moments. The photographs of the performances each represent a precise idea, and then as a whole they represent a kind of study of the concept of the monument: of the form, the colors, and all the aesthetic values that are part of the monument.

The base that I have chosen is a common object, a stepladder, to allow people to get up just enough to be visible to everyone, and then to focus, to transmit their thoughts to the world, and finally to get down again and be among the people continuing on with their lives. The stepladder is an object easily transportable from one place to another, and potentially anyone with a message to share with others can stand upon it to become a monument. The monument is a temporal and social object.

During the first week of Autostrada Biennale I was in Prizren asking people to participate in the project, performing their own idea of a monument. They had to choose the topic to perform, where to perform it and the title of their “sculpture.” At the end of my stay I shot 24 photos of as many performances realized by the people of Prizren and tourists that I met by chance in my walks through the city. All the photos were printed and installed at the city bus station.