Monument to Cold War Victory is a conceptual project by the artist Yevgeniy Fiks, taking the form of an open-call, international competition for a public, commemorative work of art. For over two decades, public signifiers of the Cold War, such as the Berlin Wall, have been framed in terms of destruction and kitsch. A monument created at the moment of its own destruction, the Wall encapsulates the continuing geopolitical imagination of the conflict as linear, continuous, binary, and terminal: the culmination of a now-historicized narrative of competing empires. But while the impact of half a century of sustained ideological conflict still reverberates through all forms of public and private experience—from Middle Eastern geographies of containment to the narrative structures of Hollywood—it has yet to be acknowledged through a public and monumental work of art. The Cold War, the longest and most influential conflict of the twentieth century, has no publicly commissioned commemoration in the United States.
This project examines the enduring genre of war monuments, memorials, and institutionally framed and commissioned artworks. How might the legacy of the Cold War, in all its complex material, social, and cultural forms, be visually articulated? In what ways might the notion of “victory,” implicit in all retroactive commemorations of conflict, be interpreted? Can the traditional, formal structure of the monument, and the historical revisionism endemic to that form, be redefined?
Artists are invited to participate in this project by submitting a proposal for a public monument commemorating the outcome of the Cold War by November 1, 2012.
A select number of finalists will be awarded a stipend and the opportunity to further develop their proposal for an institutional exhibition. The submitter of the winning proposal will be awarded a cash prize, and their concept will be implemented and installed in a publicly accessible location, to be determined, in the United States.