Mechtild Widrich
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Starting from the notion that political art reflects on its site, whether commemorating a victory or mourning a defeat, this chapter shows how strange and complex such interaction can be, as in the case of Confederate memorials in Washington, D.C. Reflecting on the mediated nature of much current site discourse (e.g. the recognizability of landmarks and public places like Tahrir Square from news and social media), the chapter goes on to reform the 1990s discourse of site specificity in art to reflect on the photographic mediation of actions and objects. This in turn opens up wider vistas, so that site-specificity becomes site-directedness, which can take place both on original sites of history and address wider publics, belated in space and time. I analyse a number of case studies, from the use of pop culture references in Hong Kong protests, to Romanian artist Alexandra Pirici’s group performance of historical photographs at Skulptur Projekte Münster, and the same artist’s staging of communist monumental architecture in Bucharest, for the camera and in a postcard format. The multidirectionality of site (paralleling the multidirectionality of memory noted by Michael Rothberg) is shown in a complex performance by Emilio Rojas connecting the University of Washington in Seattle with the territories and waters of the Musqueam Nation.

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Monumental cares

Sites of history and contemporary art


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