Jonathan Vickery – The Past and Possible Futures of Countermonument

In this talk, presented as part of the Monument and the Changing City symposium, Jonathan Vickery looks at the concept of ‘countermonument’ and considers some of its various forms, such as Jochen Gerz’s ‘anti-monument’ strategies. He constructs an ‘art theory’ of the countermonument, derived from an art historical consideration of various examples, but then assesses this theory for its strategic uses in future public spaces. What is the future of ‘countermonument’ as a public or urban art strategy? Does it depend on historical polemic and a Euro-centric critique of modernity — or can we transpose the countermonument discourse into a more complex cosmopolitan European future?