About the Project
Throughout the year, RAIR (Recycled Artist in Residency) hosts visiting artists to source materials and inspiration from their studio housed within a construction and demolition recycling facility in Tacony, which sees over 450 tons of reusable waste each day. For Monument Lab, RAIR’s lead artists, Lucia Thomé and Billy Dufala, envisioned a sculpture that staged the tension between Philadelphia’s identity as a green sustainable city and the current building boom, in which the civic and often natural landscape is altered with development on a massive scale. Plainsight is 20/20 featured an excavator holding a large tree—two objects regularly found in construction sites in the city—and elevated their pairing to monumental status. The construction equipment, wrapped in metallic vinyl, was meant to stand out from and reflect the landscape, while the tree, diverted from the waste stream, was exhibited roots and all. They were presented together, behind an 8-foot-tall construction fence in Penn Treaty Park, as symbolic of the tensions between nature and progress, as well as agency and access, within the messy culture of rapid redevelopment.
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.