LISA PAROLA / Lecture / Saturday, November 14th, 2020 – 7pm

THE BACK OF THE MONUMENT

Lecture by Lisa Parola – B.L.O. Ateliers at 7pm – entrance free with mask

Placing the monument in a public context is never a neutral action, but a way of broadcasting a narrative that has prevailed over others, creating a temporary balance between the transmission of memory and the construction of the imaginary, in continuously transforming plural societies whose values “may differ (…) because collective memory is always intrinsically plural, the temporary result of conflicts and compromises between different desires of memory” (Halbwachs). Voices that come to terms with each other in communal space to define – not without conflicts – the temporary desire of memory. Every monument, besides representing History, therefore has a story that is often prefaced by lengthy and more or less conflictual negotiation among the main subjects involved: communities, the client and the artist.

Monuments are forms that gather and transmit an event, a name or multiple names, a date, a place. The monument is recognizable to two elements: verticality and extension. Raised on a plinth, it is a visual encumbrance that interrupts the ordinary urban panorama, adding a new vantage point. At the same time, the extension – formed by a lawn or simply by the color of the pavement – marks off the “protected” space, a sort of “material aura” that indicates a suspension of ordinary space.   

Taking these various tensions and directions into account, in the research I began ten years ago I have gathered images and decided to concentrate on different orientations through which the memories of monument has chosen to position itself, to return to question the different narratives of History.

Lisa Parola is curator, art critic and founding member of the curatorial collective a.titolo in Turin.