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Reimagining the Monument returns for the second year as a participatory project for MA students at Sotheby’s Institute to take on a ‘real-world’ commission under the guidance of industry experts.

Sotheby’s Institute of Art in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and Digital Design Weekend (DDW) is seeking to commission a new digital work which explores our relationships with the photographic and digital image as a means of challenging conventional perceptions of memory and time and relation to the monument. This commission is part of the ongoing Reimagining the Monument project at Sotheby’s Institute of Art which has brought students from across the Institute’s MA programs together to consider the monument and commission new work.  

Students have been considering how monuments are typically considered to act as a reminder or guardian of the past, how they often appear to reduce a series of events into a singular or iconic representation, and how they celebrate particular figures or events, fixing them time, and in public perception. Concurrent with the establishment of museums in the nineteenth century, monuments’ popular mediation of the public sphere has fused national character and memory of historical events with public space. Yet often these monuments can lead to simplistic or reductive perceptions of the past, which do not represent the diverse constituencies and events they ideally should.  

This commission specifically invites responses to the theme of Digital Identities. Digital Identities examines the multifaceted ways in which technology shapes and challenges our sense of self and our interactions with others. The digital image has become a fundamental currency of personal identity and storytelling, where every moment of life can be seen as a fragment of a past or an imagined future. There is a sense in which we live through facades of images; a homogenising mass of simulated identities and aggregated information, misinformation and disinformation.

In 2023 students working alongside industry experts commissioned Katriona Beales’ to create Hope as an Act of Resistance: a sonic monument which premiered at the V&A DDW 2023. Developing hands-on project management skills and contacts with art world professionals who will share their own expertise, students will once again come away from the project having gained invaluable experience to invest in their own future projects.

Keep an eye on the Sotheby's Institute news page for further updates on this exciting student-led commission.