Since Dia’s inception in 1974, the issue of monumentality has been a recurring object of
examination, emerging in several landmark artist commissions. Dia’s sponsorship of outdoor works by James Turrell, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, and Joseph Beuys, as well as architectural interventions by Dan Flavin and Robert Irwin, demonstrates a sustained interest in promoting approaches to the monumental as a critical or truncated principle at work in public spaces. Moreover, critical revisions of the notion of monument are a recurrent motif in various Dia commissions and exhibitions, including Thomas Hirschhorn’s Gramsci Monument (July - September 2013) and the upcoming retrospective Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010 (to open May 2014).
In 2013-14, the cycle of Discussions in Contemporary Culture will bring together artists, architects, scholars, and writers to address today’s monuments and counter-monuments as effigies of the multifarious forces at work in global society, and to examine the current possibilities—even the need—for a redefinition of this important concept.