Artist's Talk with Kris Graves

September 12, -
Speaker(s): Kris Graves
Join Kris Graves for a discussion on his project "American Monuments" on view in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Refreshments and exhibit viewing will begin at 5pm, with artist's talk starting at 5:30pm.

This group of 16 photographs by Kris Graves captures a series of projections superimposed on the 60-foot-tall statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, now removed from downtown Richmond, Virginia. Interspersed are photographs of other Southern monuments covered and removed demonstrating the shifting public opinion about Confederate Civil Ware monuments after the death of George Floyd.

In the opening statement to the monograph, writer Diana McClure begins, "In the summer of 2020 a collective uprising rooted in local civic engagements, ricocheted around the world in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. It relied on one of the central pillars of Democracy - peaceful protest. Although grounded in the particular, the embodied actions of the multitudes illuminated larger universal questions of basic human rights and dignity in the 21st century. The echo of empathy, anger and pain born from the eight minutes and 46 seconds of viral video that captured Floyd's passing, resonated not only in the United States, but in ongoing struggles across the globe, from Hong Kong to Belarus and beyond. While the breadth of these issues touches every corner of the earth, it is the murder of individual Black lives intertwined in the brutal history of the United States that is the center of Kris Graves' photographic project American Monuments."

Artist Bio
Kris Graves (b. 1982, New York, NY) is an artist and publisher based in New York and California. Using a mix of conceptual and documentary practices, Graves photographs the subtleties of societal power and its impact on the built environment. He explores how capitalism and power have shaped countries-and how that can be seen and experienced in everyday life. Graves also works to elevate the representation of people of color in the fine art canon, and to create opportunities for conversation about race, representation, and urban life. He photographs to preserve memory.

[Photograph by Kris Graves, projection on monument by Videometry]

Archive of Documentary Arts


Center for Documentary Studies (CDS); David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library; Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts (MFAEDA)