While current identity politics is being co-opted into wider nationalist agendas,it is very important to once again expose the construct of cultural identity and question the process of history making.
National monuments, with their distinctive phallic shapes and high raising grandeur, act as architectural embodiment of national pride and power, dominating public sphere by their presence. To counter balance, I propose to empower public domain with its own UnNational Monument.
The UnNational Monument is a public project that challenges the concept of a national monument and its signifiers in the construction of collective and personal identities and autobiographies. The work focuses on objects, figures and metaphors of cultural production, and their presence in the construction of cultural identity and the feeling of belonging.
As an antidote to the general national monument, the UnNational Monument has soft anthropomorphic shape and non-dominating but rather curious posture. The object resembles a flesh-pink futuristic model of the Earth carrying over-sized distorted models of national monuments such as Big Ben, Statue of Liberty, Burj Khalifa, Christ De Redeemer, Kremlin and Eifel Tower.
I believe that there is great urgency in once again questioning nationalism and exposing constructed nature of national identity. The over-proportioned distorted symbols of national power attached to an object that represents the Earth will raise awareness of the myth of national identity and question the methods behind its construction.
The flesh coloured futuristic planet Earth which is dominated by the national monuments emanates the issues of Anthropocene and exposes the fragility of the object that humanity exists upon.
The idea of the UnNational Monument proposes system-thinking to object-orientated thinking and is astonishing in its flexibility: the UnNational Monument will act as a public monument, an internet meme, a tourist souvenir, a fabricated memory, a rupture in the historical narrative, a world-wide movement.
As newly emerged operators alter previously stable socio-political spaces and hierarchies, contributing to the decline of the monumental tradition which monumentalises past and prescribes the relation of community or a nation to its past, the UnNational Monument does not opt to revive the stagnant boundaries, but rather provides a mobile base for emerging self-referencing paradigm.
As national monument converts an everyday space into a pilgrimage space, the UnNational Monument proposes transnational existence and challenges the forces of national identity construction. The UnNational Monument opposes humour to power, softness to hierarchy, pinkness to large scale.
To coincide with inauguration of a public UnNational Monument as a pat of Deptford X 2018, my residency here explores the possibilities of creating a digital public monument that can act as an extra-territorial and beyond-national point of gathering.
As a public monument shall be constructed by the public, not for the public, I believe in contemporary technologies that offer possibilities for decentralised and non-prescriptive approaches and I am very interested in testing their potential.