Monument to New Immigrants

Tania Bruguera’s piece is a meditation on the history and present-day significance of immigration in Philadelphia and beyond. She proposed a physically incomplete statue of an immigrant child—unmarked by race, ethnicity, or gender. As Bruguera stated, “the statue is not (meant) to represent a particular community, but all immigrants…they are not always in one place; part of them is somewhere else, in their home country.” For this project, Bruguera collaborated with students and staff from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’ Sculpture Department to create a series of identical clay sculptures placed outside on Lenfest Plaza, in line with a view of City Hall. After days of weathering and outdoor conditions, the unfired sculpture was meant to “deteriorate and slowly disappear,” upon which another sculpture would take its place. This cycle would repeat throughout the exhibition until the series of fabricated sculptures fully disappeared.