General Demotion General Devotion, The Valentine Gallery, 2019
Our proposal seeks to establish Richmond, VA as a cultural center of diversity in the United States. We propose to catalyze this positive change by redesigning Monument Avenue as a national public forum where all people can organize, demonstrate, and gather as a community. Rather than suggest a strategy of erasure, we have deployed an abstract field of vertical elements in vibrant colors that screen and surround existing confederate statues. This artistic installation represents a permanent gathering of diverse voices and is a modern monument dedicated to humanity, freedom of expression, and basic human rights. Rising above the statues of J.E.B. Stuart and Robert E. Lee, we have proposed a new civic building aptly called the Center of Diversity. It is a living ethnographic institution that records the stories of all human cultures, fosters civic-mindedness, and empowers marginalized voices. Most importantly, its mission is to stand firmly against any oppression of human values and dignity: past, present, or future.