Thursday, March 2, 2017
ENGL111W The Gramsci Monument
Lecture #7 Notes
THE GRAMSCI MONUMENT
Antonia Gramsci was a 20th century Italian Marxist thinker who wrote his books while in prison. His most inuential idea is
that hegemony = the idea that those in power use cultural institutions and ideology to maintain power. The hegemonic
power in society uses culture to make its own value seem common sense and natural.
THOMAS HIRSHHORN THE GRAMSCI MONUMENT
The Idea = his idea was to build this public art space where people could share art ideas, culture, food and art with each other
and build a sense of community. This idea occurred in a community park in the Bronx in New York City.
Ideas can be a counter culture as opposed to cultural ideas. His idea was to build cultural space with hegemonic values to
body a counter culture. He opened it in the projects to bring people together. He incorporated the residence and the individuals
living in the community, by giving them jobs and a chance to be include, to bring his art project as he calls it to life. His art
became a place of community (sort of like a community centre.
His art included a library, an art studio, a smoothie bar, an open kitchen, grafti room, etc. It acted as a Utopia, where the
community came up with ideas and basically built their own idea of utopia; it was a community within another community.
Projects = are public housing projects to help with poverty and build subsidized housing, but this aided segregation (the poor
are separate from the rich) (high number ofAfrican americans (black people) live in the projects and this comes into play in
society as a racial and cultural bias). The projects started out as an idea that was topic and helpful to the community, but over
time it has become a place of crime, drug dealing and poverty. The projects then act as a border, aiding segregation. There are
positive and negatives to living the project, Moten outweighs these pros and cons throughout his poem.
APOEM: FRED MOTEN THE GRAMSCI MONUMENT
In his poem Moten plays with the various meanings of the word project. He nds,hidden in the word as it were, positive
and negative, celebratory and mournful responses
On the other hand, to have a project to work on, is the project of yourself. Your life, your experiences, your culture and
your independence is your project.
THE PARADOXES OFVALUEAND BEING VALUED
In fact, these different possibilities in the projects are entwined with each other throughout the poem. The main example
and fundamental idea being that history is a messy, complex and contradictory concept.
QUOTE: we the project they stole, we steal/ the project back = Your project can be your life, lets take the life that was
taken away from you back.
QUOTE: Lets bust the project up. Let solve the project = Moten states some contradictory statements to prove his point that
there are negatives and positives of living in the projects.
QUOTE: We violate the auction block-we pirates of ourselves and others. The auction block is all of this incredible
residence of african-american people, they realize th