unmonumental was born when I visited the 2008 Unmonumental exhibition at New York's New Museum, which explored fragmented forms, torn pictures... crumbling symbols and broken icons. Later that day, I shot a photograph of a junk-filled shopping cart in the Meat Packing District as a parody, and posted the image online. Soon I was shooting and posting pics of such objects and detritus on a daily basis. I began to think about Robert Smithson's essay "Monuments of Passaic"* and George Brassaï's "Involuntary Sculptures".** Before long, my one-off snarky commentary had become a personal exploration of photography-as-socially-networked-sculpture.
Five years and 800 photographs later, unmonumental has grown into a project of monumental proportions, distributed over online platforms that serve as vehicles for real-time communiqués as well as archival receptacles. Inadvertently referencing Modernist, Minimalist and Postmodernist tropes across several mediums, the found objects of unmonumental reflect the ever-shifting formal concerns of art and the rich feedback loop between artist and city
Joy Garnett, Brooklyn, NY 2013
*Smithson, R. "Monuments of Passaic," Artforum, December 1967.
**Brassaï, G. "Sculptures involontaires," Minotaure, n° 3-4, déc 1933.
Joy Garnett is an artist who lives in Brooklyn, NY.