There was a time when Confederate monuments were simply intended to honor those who fought and died on the Southern side of the Civil War. By the turn of the twentieth century, no longer hidden away in cemeteries but displayed prominently in public spaces, the purpose of those monuments had morphed to celebrate the former Confederacy and serve as permanent symbols of white supremacy.
In the wake of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017, I wanted to document a story that would help further my own understanding of how objects of stone and metal could elicit an emotional response so passionate as to result in violence, injury and death. I wanted to understand the diverse points of view about the monuments as expressed by proponents wanting to preserve them, and by those who demand their removal.
The visual story of the controversy, embodied by the monuments themselves, along with a collection of contextual arguments, are the focus of this exhibition.