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Sam Durant: Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement

On March 19, 2021, Cultuurcentrum Strombeek opens Sam Durant's one-person exhibition, Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement

The interactive installation Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement (PNMFM) is the heart of the exhibition. The work is dedicated to the Non-Aligned Movement, which was founded in 1961 at the instigation of Egypt, Ghana, Yugoslavia, Indonesia and India. The movement was joined by countries that were not formally aligned with any of the two major power blocs at the time of the Cold War. The Afro-Asian group included mainly developing countries and at the time sharply criticized all forms of colonialism and imperialism. To date, the NAM counts over 120 countries, which together make up more than half of the world’s population. The organization functions as an international forum to discuss common interests.

Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement is the most recent installation from the series Proposals for Monuments, on which Durant started to work in 1999. At a time the world is in full movement, Durant allows a new view of the present, while at the same time opening up possibilities for the future. PNMFM emerges as a model and emphasizes the role of the imagination and freedom of movement. The work tunes in to the current need for new concepts, initiatives and alternative world views. Another World is Possible, a slogan that lights up the façade of Cc Strombeek while the exhibition is on, reflects this generous exploration of the status quo.

The captivating video Trope, consisting of personal archive material from the artist, features a range of iconoclastic actions that span nations, cultures and eras. Together with a new series of collages, the video illustrates Durant’s incessant interest in monuments and memorials, and their precarious symbolic status with regard to social change. In the context of social polarization, religious extremism and disinformation, Proposal for Non-Aligned Monuments, Free Movement introduces a dose of humanity, while at the same time inviting the visitor to engage in (re)discovery and solidarity.