In celebration of the release of the new book on Philadelphia’s Monument Lab project, the U-M Center for World Performance Studies presents project co-founder and book co-editor Dr. Paul M. Farber to lead a public conversation about monuments and public art. Participants will be asked to interrogate the notion of what constitutes art in the public realm, address current controversies of public art and the future place of monuments, and consider the question of what kinds of monuments we need today.
Please note this event takes place at the U-M Hatcher Library Gallery at 913 S. University Avenue in Ann Arbor.
Paul M. Farber is Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Monument Lab and Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Public Art and Space at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. Farber earned a PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan and is a former graduate resident of the Center for World Performance Studies. He is the author of A Wall of Our Own: An American History of the Berlin Wall (University of North Carolina Press, 2020) which tells the untold story of a group of American artists and writers (Leonard Freed, Angela Davis, Shinkichi Tajiri, and Audre Lorde) who found refuge along the Berlin Wall and in Cold War Germany in order to confront political divisions back home in the United States. He is also the co-editor with Ken Lum of Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia (Temple University Press, 2019), a public art and history handbook and catalogue designed to generate new critical ways of thinking about and building monuments.
Kristin Ann Hass is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Culture and the Faculty Coordinator of the Humanities Collaboratory at the University of Michigan. She has written two books, Sacrificing Soldiers on the National Mall, a study of militarism, race, war memorials and U.S. nationalism and Carried to the Wall: American Memory and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, an exploration of public memorial practices, material culture studies and the legacies of the Vietnam War. Her next book, Taking the Price of Freedom Seriously, takes up the twentieth century public investment in and narratives about US militarism and nationalism in memorial Washington, DC and beyond. She lectures, teaches, and writes about nationalism, memory, publics, memorialization, militarization, visual culture and material culture studies. She holds a Ph.D. in American studies and has worked in a number of historical museums, including the National Museum of American History. She was also the co-founder and Associate Director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, a national consortium of educators and activists dedicated to campus-community collaborations.
Christina Olsen is the Director, University of Michigan Museum of Art. In a career spanning more than two decades, Christina has curated and produced groundbreaking exhibitions and initiatives, including Shine a Light, an acclaimed annual museum-wide exhibition and event in Portland, Oregon; Object Stories, an installation, audience, participation, and outreach initiative in 2010; WALLS, a student art loan program at Williams College, and Accession Number, an exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art. In earlier posts, she was an associate producer at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco; curator of Art Access, one of the first digital museum collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum; and a program officer at the Getty Foundation, where she managed the Foundation’s $4M in global grants for museum-based research and interpretation. Christina earned a bachelor’s degree in history of art from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree and doctorate in art history from the University of Pennsylvania.
Srimoyee Mitra is the Director of the Stamps Gallery at the Stamps School of Art and Design. She is a curator and writer whose work is invested in building empathy and mutual respect by bringing together meaningful and diverse works of art and design. She develops ambitious and socially relevant projects that mobilize the agency within creative practices and public audiences. Her research interests lie at the intersection of exhibition-making and participation, migration, globalization and decolonial aesthetics. Mitra has worked as an Arts Writer for publications in India such as Time Out Mumbai and Art India Magazine. She was the Programming Co-ordinator of the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (2008-2010) in Toronto, where her curatorial projects included Crossing Lines: An Intercultural Dialogue at the Glenhyrst Art Gallery, Brantford. In 2011, she was appointed the Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Windsor, where she developed an award-winning curatorial and publications program.