Monumental: Part Two, with Lava Thomas and Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle
Interdisciplinary visual artists Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle and Lava Thomas continue their November 2020 discussion regarding the dismantling of hegemonic factors within public art selection and looking at who determines what is “monumental.” Together, they unpack the problematic elements within public art commissions and artwork removal, and the lifelong impact that cycles of commissioning have upon communities. How do erected and dismantled monuments impact their local geographies? What narratives do they continually assert with their presence or absence? How does one create a monument that begins to balance the scales of history? How do we reimagine the possibilities for monuments in the face of insistence upon historical amnesia / purposeful forgetting?
In her visual art, Thomas amplifies ideas that center visibility, resilience, and empowerment in the face of erasure, trauma, and oppression. Her oeuvre spans drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and installation, exploring the events, figures, and movements that inform and shape individual and collective histories. Hinkle’s practice encompasses collaborations, participatory projects, and intimate works linked to historical events and contexts. She was previously an assistant professor of painting in UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice.