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Folding monument (Christopher Columbus Statue, Columbus Triangle, Queens, New York)

Upcycled cotton canvas, cotton straps, thread, plywood shelf and printed photograph


Installation views, In Practice: Literally means collapse, SculptureCenter, New York, 2022. Photo: Charles Benton

This work is a scale replica of a monument which commemorates Christopher Columbus. Although the statue and its base still stand, and the site is often used as a gathering spot for Italian-Americans, this monument has faced challenges from its inception. Following installation delays due to challenges in fundraising to build its base, the monument was dedicated in 1941. During WWII, it was taken into hiding to keep it from being collected during scrap metal drives and a few years later, in 1945, it was reinstalled. In 2017 it was tagged "Don't Honor Genocide. Take it Down,”; and, in 2020, hundreds marched through Astoria demanding its removal. 

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