Editor: Paulina Pukytė
What is a monument? What, when and why should a monument be or not be? What monuments do we need or don’t need today, how do monuments affect or don’t affect us? These questions were asked in 2017 by The 11th Kaunas Biennial There and Not There: (Im)possibility of a Monument,curated by artist and writer Paulina Pukytė. The public space project opposed the conservative and authoritarian tradition of monuments, its inherent didacticism and demagogy. It stimulated radically new, contemporary, conceptual and relevant ideas and forms of commemoration by inviting Lithuanian and international artists to look into the complex history of Kaunas (and Lithuania) through rethinking its existing and non-existing monuments, as well as imagining possible (and impossible) new monuments. Emphasising the paradoxical in commemoration, (IM)POSSIBILITY OF A MONUMENT is a book and a catalogue that continues to ask these questions and look for answers – both in theory and in practice – not only by presenting the documentation of this highly successful project (including supporting exhibitions and the Oral Programme), but also by providing a deeper insight into some of the site specific artworks and the public reaction to them. Whilst statues of dubious artistic value, origin and purpose continue to appear in our public spaces, the (im)possibility of a monument remains a very relevant question.