happy new year #unmonumental (Ingraham)
unmonumental was born in the Spring of 2008, the day I visited the Unmonumental exhibition at New York's New Museum. The exhibition set out to explore fragmented forms, torn pictures... crumbling symbols and broken icons. Dissatisfied, back out on the street, I shot a photograph of a junk-filled shopping cart and posted it on twitter with the hashtag #unmonumental. But what started as a one-off snarky social commentary soon grew into a personal exploration of ephemera and street photography. I began to shoot and post photographs online on a daily basis. This has since developed into an artful compulsion and a meditation on the city and its never-ending physical and social transformations. The project feeds into my other work, and has led me to re-consider Robert Smithson's "Monuments of Passaic"1 and George Brassaï's "Involuntary Sculptures".2 What began as one-off twitter commentary grew into a personal exploration of found objects and street photography.
Years later, unmonumental has grown to become a project of monumental proportions. I shoot and immediately distribute my photographs as real-time communiqués across online platforms that also serve as archival receptacles. Inadvertently referencing Modernist, Minimalist and Postmodernist tropes, the found objects of unmonumental reflect the ever-shifting formal concerns of art and the rich feedback loop between artist and City.
1) Smithson, R. Monuments of Passaic, Artforum, December 1967.
2) Brassaï, G. Sculptures involontaires, Minotaure, n° 3-4, déc 1933.
The Highlights, Lance Wakeling (October 2009): Voluntary Sculptures: Photographing the Unmonumental
Joy Garnett is an artist who lives in Brooklyn, NY.