Danh Vo: We The People

Presented by Public Art Fund
City Hall Park & Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, NY
May 16 – December 5, 2014

Production | Exhibition Grant

Danh Vo’s public installation, We The People (2014), featured a 1:1 replica of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty, consisting of 250 individual pieces. A select number of pieces were exhibited at a human scale in New York’s City Hall Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park (where the actual Statue of Liberty could be seen from the project site). Vo’s segmented version is faithful to the original, using the same fabrication techniques and copper material. The installation allowed the public to experience this world famous icon and to reflect on the meaning of liberty from multiple perspectives. VIA’s support funded a parallel education program for New York City public school teachers to implement with their students in conjunction with the exhibition.

We The People brought together a constellation of historical and cultural references that frame Vo’s process, calling attention to the similarities and differences between the means of production in the 19th century and today’s global economic system. While the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the United States, paid for (in part) by American citizens, and constructed by French laborers, Vo’s We The People was conceived in Germany, fabricated in Shanghai, supported by his French gallery, collections and art institutions worldwide, and dispersed to exhibition venues in more than 15 countries.

To learn more, visit Public Art Fund.

Images: Danh Vo, We The People, 2011-2014, copper. Photos: James Ewing.