Sam Durantís "Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington, D.C.," installation view at Paula Cooper Gallery, with the Monument to Heroes of "Battle of Wounded Knee", left foreground, and Birch Coulee Monument to Faithful Indians or Sioux Indians State Monument, right
Sam Durant, "Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington, D.C.," Sept. 23-Oct. 22, 2005, at Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 West 21st Street, New York, N.Y. 10011
The idea for Sam Durant's "Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington, D.C." has the virtue of being simple enough to fit on the front of a T-shirt. In the handy pamphlet accompanying the show, Durant says he wants to "move monuments commemorating lives lost during the Indian Wars to the National Mall in Washington, D.C." This idea is pointed without being preachy, heartrending but not mawkish, and politically incisive if stylistically indebted to artists like Sherrie Levine, Rachel Whiteread, Lothar Baumgarten, Stephen Prina, Allan McCollum and Sol LeWitt. In fact, if you didn't know whose show this was, the repeating forms, grid configuration, and appropriation strategies might make you think these artists had collaborated on it.