Monument to New Immigrants
This monument by Tania Bruguera serves as a meditation on the history and significance of immigration in Philadelphia and beyond.
The city of Philadelphia played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the United States: it was the place where the Founding Fathers met to sign the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787), and it served as temporary capital while Washington, DC was being built. Philadelphia was also one of the cities that saw a massive influx of immigrants from Europe and Puerto Rico, and it welcomed many African Americans who were migrating from the rural Southern United States to the Northeast during the Great Migration between 1916 and 1970
The kid does not have any specific characteristics showing gender, and does not have a “face.” During the exhibition, one was mounted on an outdoor plinth in the plaza and exposed to rain, wind, and sun. After weeks of weathering, the unfired sculpture deteriorated and was replaced by an identical one. As the summer ceded to fall, the change in humidity caused the clay to crumble, exposing the steel frame that held the figure together. This cycle of installation and decay repeated throughout the exhibition.