Cast concrete, steel, and acrylic lettering
If They Should Ask was a temporary monument first exhibited in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia for the exhibition Monument Lab, curated by Paul Farber and Ken Lum. The sculpture addresses the absence of monuments to women in the city of Philadelphia. In a city that boasts hundreds of sculptures to historic figures, there are only two dedicated to women: French heroine Joan of Arc and Bostonian Quaker Mary Dyer.
Encircled with the names of women who contributed to civic and public life in Philadelphia from early European contact to the present day, If They Should Ask proposes that the persistent and aggressive exclusion of women from this form of public recognition perpetuates historical misunderstandings and reproduces inequality in the city’s economic, social, political and cultural spheres.
The object is a collection of cast concrete pedestals sourced from nine existing monuments in Philadelphia and materialized at half-scale.