Monument to New Immigrants

Tania Bruguera’s Monument to New Immigrants is a meditation on the history and present-day significance of immigration in Philadelphia and beyond.

Part of Monument Lab

Monument to New Immigrants by Tania Bruguera. Photo by Maria Moller.

Monument to New Immigrants by Tania Bruguera. Photo by Maria Moller.

About the Project 

Tania Bruguera’s Monument to New Immigrants is a meditation on the history and present-day significance of immigration in Philadelphia and beyond. She proposes a physically incomplete statue of an immigrant child— unmarked by race, ethnicity, or gender. As Bruguera states, “the statue is not (meant) to represent a particular community, but all immigrants…they are not always in one place; part of them is somewhere else, in their home country.” For this project, Bruguera collaborated with students and staff from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ Sculpture Department to create a series of identical clay sculptures placed outside on Lenfest Plaza, in line with a view of City Hall. After days of weathering and outdoor conditions, the unfired sculpture is meant to “deteriorate and slowly disappear,” upon which another sculpture takes its place. This cycle repeats throughout the exhibition until the series of fabricated sculptures fully disappears. Bruguera’s poetic series of sculptures monumentalizes arrival, adaption, and renewal.

 

Major support for Monument Lab projects staged in Philadelphia’s five squares provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. An expanded artist roster and projects at additional neighborhood sites made possible by the William Penn Foundation. Lead corporate support provided by Bank of America. Generous additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

For a full list of funders click here.