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Ai Weiwei is among the 22 artists participating in Monument Lab

The outdoor exhibit will take place September 16 through November 19

Monument Lab will return to Philadelphia starting September 16, 2017.
Photo by Steve Weinik for Mural Arts Philadelphia

World-renowned artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei will be one of the 22 artists who will have work on display throughout Philly when Monument Lab returns in the fall of 2017.

Mural Arts and Monument Lab revealed the list of participating artists in an announcement today, as well as the dates and locations of the city-wide exhibition, which will run from September 16 through November 19, 2017.

Ai Weiwei will be one of 22 artists who will participate in Philly’s Monument Lab.
Courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio

Using a $300,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the exhibition will expand on Monument Lab’s initial program that debuted in 2015 for a month in City Hall’s courtyard. The pop-up classroom drew in more than 3,500 people to discuss the future of memorials and monuments in Philly. Another 455 Philadelphians sent in proposals for the city’s next monument.

This year, the 22 artists—10 of which hail from Philadelphia—will answer the question, “What makes a monument in the 21st century?” through their work that will be on display in William Penn’s original five squares and five city parks. Specifically, City Hall, Franklin Square, Washington Square, Logan Circle, Rittenhouse Square, and Penn Treaty Park, Vernon Park, Norris Square, Malcolm X Park, and Marconi Plaza.

Artist Tania Bruguera, for example, plans to create a monument to the “new immigrant,” while Tyree Guyton’s work will highlight opioid addiction and recovery. Each artist’s specific pieces will be announced at a later date.

Meanwhile, the main hub of Monument Lab will set up shop at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Here’s the full list of artists.

  • Ai Weiwei, Berlin/Beijing
  • Tania Bruguera, Havana/New York City/Cambridge
  • Mel Chin, Egypt, North Carolina
  • Kara Crombie, Philadelphia
  • Tyree Guyton, Detroit
  • Hans Haacke, New York City
  • David Hartt, Philadelphia
  • Sharon Hayes, Philadelphia
  • King Britt and Joshua Mays, Philadelphia and Oakland
  • Klip Collective, Philadelphia
  • Duane Linklater, North Bay, Ontario
  • Emeka Ogboh, Lagos/Berlin
  • Karyn Olivier, Philadelphia
  • Michelle Angela Ortiz, Philadelphia
  • Kaitlin Pomerantz, Philadelphia
  • RAIR featuring Abigail DeVille, Philadelphia and New York City
  • Alexander Rosenberg, Philadelphia
  • Jamel Shabazz, New York City
  • Zoe Strauss, Philadelphia
  • Hank Willis Thomas, New York City
  • Shira Walinsky and Southeast by Southeast, Philadelphia
  • Marisa Williamson, New York City