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Reception + Gallery Talk | Living Histories: Space for Reckoning by STOSS Landscape Urbanism + MPdL Studio

February 27, 2023 · 6:00 pm7:30 pm · North Gallery, School of Architecture

School of Architecture

How do we ensure that public spaces tell the complex and interconnected histories that have shaped our culture and inform who we are? How do we bring to light those stories that lie buried just beneath the surface of a society in ways that allow us to confront the harder and sometimes brutal realities of our entangled pasts? How is it that we might transform the recognition and commemoration of moments of civic, political, and racial violence in ways that allow us to reckon with these histories and set a foundation for conversation and healing? And how do we animate the people that embodied and lived our complex histories in ways that are honorific, and continue to live on?

This will require a new way of thinking about commemoration in public spaces. Rather than focusing on a single person or a single moment in time, on grand gestures or static monuments, public space has the capacity to record and trace the multiple lives and histories that have taken place and continue to take place in an unfolding series of stories. Public space should offer opportunities for interactions on people’s own terms; a space for reflection and contemplation and reckoning; a place for discourse, debate, gathering, remembrance, and even just the simple and ordinary pleasures of everyday life. In public space, histories can be broadened and deepened; can be enlivened and honored; and can be written anew as part of the evolving life of a city.

The proposed reimagining of Martyr’s Park and Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, weaves a reconsideration of the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy with a reframing and enhancement of the proposed Martyr’s Park, site of the lynching of three innocent Black men. In concert with the nearby Holocaust Museum and the city’s judicial complex on the riverfront, these places highlight moments of intense racial and political violence in the city while honoring and celebrating the lives lost.

The opening reception and gallery talk on February 27, 2023 at 6pm will be led by Chris Reed, Mark Lamster, and Mónica Ponce de León.

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