The idea of a monument has to change. It’s naive to believe that something is going to represent us forever. But I don’t want to just remove these statues and replace them with other statues, because then you’re still using the same rhetoric, the same narrative. – Iván Argote
For over a decade, Colombian artist and film director Iván Argote has interrogated political and institutional power and systems of belief. Wild Flowers: A Neck is from a recent grouping of works that reference the sculpture of George Washington in front of the Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street in New York City. Argote recreated sections of the statue in bronze – the neck, torso, hands, and feet – and planted wild flowers in them. Rather than suggesting a complete erasure of the monument, Argote’s work imagines that fragmentation might lead to growth and regeneration, and even small moments of beauty, as flowers grow from the remains. Argote is included in the permanent collections of numerous institutions worldwide, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami; Colección de Arte del Banco de la República, Bogotá; and MACBA, Barcelona.