I Am Queen Mary is currently under repair
to Dec 25

I Am Queen Mary is currently under repair

Statement released on October 25, 2019

It has been just over a year and a half since we inaugurated I Am Queen Mary in front of the Danish West Indian warehouse in Copenhagen on March 31. 2018. As an artist-led project pushing into the public space to transform the narrative around colonial histories we assumed the responsibility of the financing, insurance, maintenance and public outreach of this project, something unusual for a project of this magnitude. The temporary nature of the work is directly a result of these issues as we continue to raise funds to make the figure into a bronze. This process means navigating various government and private agencies for funding and permissions and it is still on-going. Meanwhile, as we continue to maintain the sculpture it has braved the threat of vandalism and the harsh natural elements of the harborside. I Am Queen Mary is currently under repair as part of the chair has been damaged as well as other maintenance of the coral base will be attended to. We are encouraged by the support of the Danish government and their pledge to facilitate the making of a permanent work into a bronze and we continue to look for other financial supporters. Thanking all who have engaged with our project. For continued updates please see the project website: www.iamqueenmary.com.

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Installation of NY version of I Am Queen Mary at Barnard Hall
6:00 PM18:00

Installation of NY version of I Am Queen Mary at Barnard Hall

On October 15, 2019, “I Am Queen Mary”, a human-scale monument memorializing resistance to Danish colonialism in the Caribbean and part of a transnational collaboration between artists La Vaughn Belle (U.S. Virgin Islands, Columbia ‘95, BCRW Artist-in-Residence) and Jeannette Ehlers (Denmark) will be installed at Barnard College. The sculpture sparks a number of important questions about public art, representations of black women, and the impacts of colonialism and slavery. 

The “I am Queen Mary” statue to be installed at Barnard College is a scale iteration of the original 23-foot monument, which is currently on view in front of the West Indian Warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark. It has received international press coverage since its unveiling in March 2018, including features the BBC, New York Times, The Guardian, VICE and Le Monde. On long-term loan to the College, it will be on view in Barnard Hall and open to the public. 

The College community will welcome the sculpture in a brief ceremony on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 5pm. There will be a public event scheduled early in the spring semester where the community can interact with the artists to discuss the important questions the sculpture raises about public art, representation, and the place of “I Am Queen Mary” at Barnard College.

The sculpture was funded by the Ford Foundation Gallery for the exhibition “Radical Love” in June 2019.

For the full press release see here.

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to Aug 17

Exhibition: Radical Love at Ford Foundation, NY

We will be presenting a version of I Am Queen Mary at an exhibition at the Ford Foundation Social Justice Gallery.

This is a free event with Registration.

Exhibition Opening
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
6:00 - 8:00 PM

Through the theme of Utopian Imagination, the trilogy of exhibitions in the gallery's inaugural year create a trajectory toward a more just future. The first exhibition, Perilous Bodies (March 4 - May 11, 2019), examined injustice through the intersecting lens of violence, race, gender, ethnicity, and class. Radical Love responds to the first show by offering love as the answer to a world in peril.

Love, in the context of this exhibition, is defined by a commitment to the spiritual growth and interconnectedness of the individual, their community, and stewardship of the planet. Guided by the powerful words of bell hooks, “Were we all seeing more images of loving human interaction, it would undoubtedly have a positive impact on our lives.” The works in Radical Love are grounded in ideas of devotion, abundance, and beauty; here, otherness and marginality is celebrated, adorned, and revered.

Curated by Jaishri Abichandani and Natasha Becker. Exhibiting Artists: Sue Austin ~ La Vaughn Belle & Jeannette Ehlers ~ Maria Berrio ~ Raúl de Nieves ~ Omar Victor Diop ~ Vanessa German ~ Jah Grey ~ Baseera Khan ~ Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt ~ McCallum & Tarry: Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry ~ Rashaad Newsome ~ Ebony G. Patterson ~ Jody Paulsen ~ Thania Petersen ~ Lina Puerta ~ Faith Ringgold ~ Athi-Patra Ruga ~ Nep Sidhu ~ Rose B. Simpson ~ Imani Uzuri ~ Lina Iris Viktor

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12:00 AM00:00

One year anniversary update

31st March 2019 marked a year since the inauguration of I Am Queen Mary. And what a year! I Am Queen Mary has received a tremendous amount of attention globally and has proved that there’s a huge need for counter images to the domination of white male statues in public space. I Am Queen Mary has challenged Danish colonial amnesia while recognizing the legacies of resistance of those who survived and fought against it. The project also challenges the notion of whiteness with an alternative representation in an image of an empowered historical, present and futuristic black woman, giving recognition to black and brown peoples. We are proud that I Am Queen Mary has created a critical dialogue about the role of public art both near and far. Although like many impactful works, it has not been without criticism and even vandalism. We however fully expect the project to continue as it is becoming recognized as an important addition to the city of Copenhagen. It receives many visitors everyday, even those who have specifically traveled to Copenhagen to bear witness. We are happy to announce that with great support and wonderful enthusiasm from the private and public sector, both in Copenhagen and in the Virgin Islands, that we are working on making a permanent version in bronze in both locations. We still need to work on the funding of it all but anticipate a great deal of involvement as soon as we have the formalities in place.

For now we have been granted permission to extend the project in front of the Royal Cast Collection for another year.

Please keep checking out our recently added “NEWS” section of our website for the most current information on the project including speaking engagements and exhibitions.

Thank you for your continued interest and engagement with our project.  

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