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Here4 at Cavallerizza Irreale

May 2019. The debut showing of “Monument to the EU”, selected as part of the Here4 festival at Cavallerizza Irreale in Torino. The space allows for the full implementation of the project as I originally saw it. The sculpture is accompanied by photographs and technical drawings that make up the 2026 competition entry from LAS Architects Associates. Conceptually speaking, the piece draws from the current political fragility across Europe that has allowed for the rise of nationalism. The threat of EU breakup is very real and this work is prophetic in its intention. More information on the work itself can be read in the blog entry “Predicable Monumentalism”. The banality of the competition entry ‘visualisations’ highlights how the passage of time affects public spaces and monuments of this type.

The Cavallerizza Irreale is a community of multi-disciplined artists that occupy and maintain the premises of the old royal stables in Turin, Italy. The building was left abandoned for many years but now hosts a variety of exhibitions, performances and screenings. Here4 is the fourth edition of the festival and this years theme is ‘temporary cities’.

Predictable monumentalism

Recent indecision and the seemingly unending problems regarding Brexit has given me the impression that the EU's days are most certainly numbered. The "Monument to the European Union" is a political work that represents my prediction of the future; that the EU will no longer exist and, at some point, architects will be invited to immortalize what it stood for. I have taken my cues from seeing other proposals for Public works in their documentative form. Photographs, sketches, written explanations etc. The successful proposals exist somewhere in the real world and have become part of the urban population's everyday experience. The failures on the other hand, rejected for whatever reason, give off the feeling of what could been, the possible alternative or if 'the grass is greener'. I have found this notion to be systematic of how many feel about Brexit and especially the contemporary opinion on the subject of nationalism.

The sculpture itself is a collection of twenty five plaster casts. Each being a representation of a motorway junction in and around Bruxelles. These stand for the very literal confusion and the list of potential outcomes that we now find ourselves in. In addition, by experimenting with the scale and digitally rendering a model into a realistic image, the question of how 'monumental' or 'substantial' it is comes to the fore.