This summer, New York City’s Bronx neighborhood will be home to an enormous structure made from plywood, plexiglass, and copious amounts of beige packing tape.
It’s not a tree house, or a giant hand-constructed fort, but rather, an art site and temporary monument to the philosopher Gramsci, an endeavor spearheaded by Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn. The wooden structure is a far cry from the many other monuments that dot NYC’s parks and public spaces, but Hirschhorn’s artistic vision, coupled with his ongoing desire to honor history’s greatest philosophical minds, has resulted in the enormous, interactive monument, located on the grounds of Forest Houses in the Bronx.
According to an article in The New York Times, starting earlier this month on July 1st “Mr. Hirschhorn will realize his vision of honoring Gramsci, unveiling a monument on the grounds of Forest Houses. It will exist in a parallel universe from the rest of the city’s big-money summer exhibitions, daring viewers to veer far off the beaten museum-and-gallery path and question their ideas about the value and purpose of art.” This provocative display is very much in the style of Hirschhorn, who is known for his deeply political work that often addresses issues such as war, poverty, and human oppressions.
“Throughout the summer, the monument will function as a kind of village festival, or inner-city intellectual Woodstock, with lectures, concerts, recitals and art programs on the stages and pavilions that Mr. Hirschhorn and a paid crew of workers chosen from the Forest Houses have built over the last several weeks,” according to the New York Times. Hirschhorn will be satisfied if the project inspires just one person to consider issues they normally wouldn’t have, with art being the catalyst for that kind of intrigue. He has long advocated for the art world to become less exclusive, and this very public monument includes the entire Bronx community, as well as the rest of New York City and its visitors.
For more information about the Gramsci Monument, visit the project’s website which includes a schedule of events, streaming radio, and more.