Folding Monument (Monument to the Declaration of Independence, Guatemala City), 2021. Upcycled cotton canvas, thread, cotton webbing, photograph, shelf.
This Folding Monument is a scale replica of a monument which commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence of Central America. This declaration, signed on September 15, 1821, created the Federation of Central American nations, which included the countries known today as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua who, together, broke free from Spanish rule.
Originally placed at the Centenario Park, in Zone 1, Guatemala City, the monument was recently removed and put in storage: the city government claimed that it was commissioning a new monument for the national bicentennial. While in storage, the monument was badly maintained, and architect José María Magaña, sued the government, alleging that the city was committing a felony against cultural heritage by building a new pedestrian space in the historical downtown plaza. This raised walkway is one of the largest architectural projects under the presidency of Alejandro Giammattei, former director of the national penitentiary system, who faces numerous allegations of corruption and is up for re-election in the summer of 2023. After a campaign by local architects and historians, the monument has now been returned to the park.
Text written in collaboration with Laura August
Video and photos: Luis Corzo
Photo: José Oquendo
Activation of artwork at XYZ Present Future, Artissima Art Fair, Turin, Italy, 2021
Presented by Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City. Curated by Fernanda Brenner and Ilaria Gianni