This week’s contributing author, Marisa Lerer, is an associate professor of art history at Manhattan College. She is co-editor of Public Art Dialogue and specializes in Latin American and Latinx art, public art, and memorials. She is presently preparing a book manuscript on Latinx Public Memorials.
During the Summer of 2020, LigoranoReese, the collaboration of Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, created The School of Good Citizenship in Charlotte, North Carolina. The School brought together a multi-faceted group of artists, performers, and activists to address some of the most pressing issues of our time including voting rights, racial and environmental justice, and immigration. In an email correspondence in January 2021, LigoranoReese shared the origins of their latest project and their creative approaches to collaboration and activism.
The School of Good Citizenship is related to previous public art interventions that you’ve created at National Democratic and Republican Conventions. Could you discuss the origins of The School of Good Citizenship and the interaction of art and activism that the project fosters?
Our previous public art interventions have focused on performative and durational projects that rely on public involvements such as Crater NY (2007) and Crater Bay Area (2008), which highlighted issues of gentrification. At National Conventions, we centered our temporary monuments, or ice sculptures in the project series Melted Away.