The Wall of Respect, a 1967 public artwork, depicted black heroes and heroines in the areas of music, art, literature, politics, and sports. No sign indicates its existence today, but the wall sparked a nationwide mural movement, platformed community engagement, and was a seminal work of the black arts movement. While the wall needs to be marked, this new publication, Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect, argues against making a monument of the original site. Instead, editor Romi Crawford asked a range of artists, designers, and architects—each with differing degrees of proximity to the wall’s legacy—to realize antiheroic and unstatic strategies for commemoration. The result is a collection of “fleeting monuments” that invite readers to enact these gestures, either in mind or real time. Using the intimate and portable book format, Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect commemorates the wall while proposing new strategies for embodied public memory.
Artist contributors include: Miguel Aguilar, Wisdom Baty, Mark Blanchard, Bethany Collins, D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem, Julio Finn, Maria Gaspar, Wills Glasspiegel, Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, Kelly Lloyd, Faheem Majeed, Nicole Mitchell, Naeem Mohaiemen, Amus Mor, Karega Kofi Moyo, Robert E. Paige, Kamau Amu Patton, Jefferson Pinder, Cauleen Smith, Rohan Ayinde Smith, solYchaski, Norman Teague, Jan Tichy, Mechtild Widrich, Bernard Williams, and Lauren Berlant.
About the editor: Romi Crawford, is professor in the Visual and Critical Studies and Liberal Arts Departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her research revolves primarily around formations of racial and gendered identity and the relation to American visual arts, film, and popular culture. She makes regular contributions to publications on African American art and culture including, Theaster Gates, Black Archive (Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2017); “Do For Self: The AACM and the Chicago Style” in Support Networks (University of Chicago Press, 2014); and “Ebony and Jet On Our Minds…In Our Homes. On the Wall” in Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art (Studio Museum in Harlem, 2014). She is coauthor (with Abdul Alkalimat and Rebecca Zorach) of The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (Northwestern University Press, 2017). Crawford was cocurator (with Lisa Lee) of the 2017 Open Engagement Conference, themed “Justice.”
This publication is graciously funded with support from the Graham Foundation.