About the exhibition – We the People (Detail)
The year 1886 saw the creation of what may be the ultimate symbol of democracy and freedom. Now, Danh Vo has had an exact, full-scale copy of the Statue of Liberty made. Dividing it into approximately 400 parts, he has scattered the statue all across the world.
The symbol of a new, democratic nation
The exhibition takes its point of departure in one of the central symbols of the iconography of American identity: the Statue of Liberty. The sculpture is the symbol of the new, democratic nation, and she was the first sight that greeted generations of immigrants upon their arrival to the Promised Land.
Complete, full-scale copy
Danh Vo has created an exact, full-scale replica of the French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty, which stands 45 metres tall on Liberty Island in the New York harbour.
About the title
The title of Danh Vo’s sculpture is We the People. The title comes from the United States Constitution from 1787, which is opened by those three words. The exhibition held in the Gallery’s Sculpture Street adds (Detail) to the overall title; a reference to the fact that only parts of the sculpture are on display at the Gallery.
Like the original statue, Vo’s replica is fashioned out of copper sheets. However, the copy of the Statue of Liberty has not been – and will not be – welded together like the original statue. Rather, the replica, which was created at a metal workshop in Shanghai, will remain split into approximately 400 parts.
Rethinking the classic exhibition format
The project challenges habitual views of originality and of the nature of sculpture. Similarly, the exhibition also reinvents the classic exhibition format.
Throughout the exhibition run new parts of the sculpture will be added, some will be moved around, and others will be sent on to other destinations. This is to say that the exhibition is in a constant state of flux and that all the parts shown at the Gallery can be said to be only passing through.
The many parts will, then, be exhibited in various places of the world on an ongoing basis. You will be able to experience a total of approximately 100 elements in the Sculpture Street.
In this project the monumental and highly symbolic Statue of Liberty becomes a fragmented, travelling phenomenon that forms new meaning and significance through new combinations and encounters with audiences worldwide.
Get an overview of where the individual parts of Dahn Vo’s work can be found:
Show We the People (Detail) on a larger map
Click on the link to see where you can find Danh Vo’s sculpture all across the world.