A concrete idea: Sculptor arranges 5,000 blocks by hand at Thompson’s Point

Megan Gray for Portland Press Herald

Stephan said this idea came in part from his own questions about public monuments and how they shape our understanding of history. (Another ongoing project is based on statues of Christopher Columbus.) He thought about a structure that has collapsed – perhaps into 5,000 concrete blocks on the floor – and how its destruction could make something better.

“I think this reckoning with public monuments reflects a deeper change in the U.S. in which we are coming to terms with how deeply enmeshed inequality is, in the very structure of our politics, institutions and culture,” he said. “In a way, this artwork reflects some of the dismantling and restructuring that is taking place in response to these issues – showing a collapse of existing structures and pointing to a new energy that could rise out of this. In this way, it speaks to a collapse, or dismantling, but also a restructuring and hope.”

July 27, 2023