Remembering the Present

May 6-July 1, 2000

Tom Green, Monument to the Present, 2000

"Working on an exhibition that would be part of The Kreeger Museum’s citywide initiative, DC Citypiece: Monuments at the Millennium, I took the opportunity to wrestle, curatorially speaking, with two problems germane to the subject of monuments and their relevance to the people of Washington, DC, and environs. These questions have interested me for the last ten years: (1) what can the interpretation of art tell us about contemporary culture (i.e., the Present); and (2) what role does interpretation play in determining how contemporary culture will evolve, what ideas, beliefs, and values are transmitted to the next generation (Remembering), and which of these will be transformed?"

John Ruppert, Orb, 2000
"I asked 14 artists from the Washington, DC, metropolitan area to submit proposals for monuments on 22” x 30” sheets of paper (two of the sculptors contributed models instead of works on paper) that would tell viewers about the present."

"The proposals exhibited in Remembering the Present had to meet only two criteria: quality and relevance. The artists were not asked to memorialize the past because the past isn't what it used to be (and never was) and the “universal” is as changeable as the past, a matter of perspective, not truth. Artists cannot escape the present, any more then their patrons. Remembering the Present takes advantage of this fact, asking artists to communicate the present thorough their ability to create relevant cultural metaphors."

-Jack Rasmussen, Curator

Participating Artists

  • Installation view, 2000
    Clarke Bedford
  • Ed Bisese
  • Emilie Benes Brzezinski
  • Betsy Damos
  • Robert J. Devers
  • Tom Green
  • Lee E. Haner
  • Greg Hannan
  • Sam Christian Holmes
  • Randy Jewart
  • Michael B. Platt
  • Jann Rosen-Queralt
  • John Ruppert
  • Jeff Spaulding