UNUS MUNDUS, the spirit of the piece is the potential for dialogue - CODAworx

UNUS MUNDUS, the spirit of the piece is the potential for dialogue

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Client: East Boston Police A7, City of Boston, Mayor's Office of Arts + Culture

Location: East Boston, MA, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $450,000

Project Team

Artist: (design, concept, production, photographs)

Monika Bravo

Production Manager Monika Bravo Studio

Sana López Abellán

Fabricator: (glass, mosaic) & installer

Mayer of Munich

Fabricator: hardware & plate

Tripyramid Structures

Senior Public Art Project Manager

Sarah Rodrigo

Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture

Senior Project Manager

Brian Melia

Public Facilities Dept. Boston.

Installers:

Bianca Mauro

BRM production Management

Installer/Documentation

Felix Bartesch

Mayer of Munich

Architects:

Jim Vogel, Josiah Stevenson

Leers, Weinzapfel Associates

Overview

With Courage, find a Vocation embodying your perspective to serve in the Community. The shapes of the suspended float glass sculptures are abstractions of these words, using a modular typeface, {Josef Albers, Bauhaus, 1923}. Consisting of three shapes: a square, a circle, and a quarter circle of the same radius organized on a grid. The mosaics on the wall behind the mobiles represent the original five islands of East Boston that became one with the landfill used to make the airport – this fragmentation of the internal self is reflected in society. Monika invites viewers to move around the space, embodying the various perspectives, to create a potential for dialogue. Conceived and informed in conjunction with a Community Engagement Workshop held prior, in three sessions “EN-JOY_I SEE U IN ME {in a new perspective}”.

Goals

This public art commission consists of mosaics and mobiles– the mosaics, composed of different shapes on two walls, refer to the original topography of East Boston, which used to be five separate islands that were later covered in landfills, integrating separate elements into a whole. Images of historical photographs and parts of vintage maps superimposed and embedded within depict glimpses of the landscape of parks that have since been demolished, shipyards, an eagle, the Watchmen’s Police Department, aerial images of the airport, tying in East Boston's history, economy and culture in layers of meaning. 



The mobile’s playfulness brings diversity to life with the metaphors of the mosaic (a whole from parts), glass (transparency), and a play of light, ever-changing (the ephemeral nature of art and being), which invites the opportunity for the fusion of unique vantages (the project appears different from every angle.)  As the viewer moves around, our potential can be embraced in what we, as a society, can overcome, even while witnessing each other’s opposite poles. The mesmerizing environment invites the audience to mutual participation, to an experience of synthesis and communion.

Process

In response to the acceptance of this commission and the increasing polarization around the pandemic and police issues in early 2020, Monika intentionally chose to study and understand practices of inner reflection, trauma, and dialogue for the purpose of creating space for conversation and healing. She attended countless workshops, and due to the online nature of engaging during the last couple of years, Monika had ample opportunity to actually put into practice what she was learning about, implementing lessons within herself and applying through her work the modalities with which she had become educated.

Working close with Mayer’s glass artisans was pivotal for expressing the importance of color as materialization to convey emotions. Color and texture are used for contrast as they refer to integrating our differences and uniqueness engaging in dialogue. Monika designed the suspension system of the glass to be held and framed by colorful metal plates combining elegantly with specifically designed hardware by Tripyramid. Community members were involved in the creation of the project through a playful workshop where participants engaged in the embodiment of sovereignty and authenticity, noticing and identifying differences in emotions, perceptions, and bodily sensations.

Additional Information

MONIKA BRAVO
 I am a multi-disciplinary artist born in Bogotá, Colombia. I studied fashion design in Rome & Paris and photography in London and NYC. I moved to Miami Beach, in 2020. I embody my own perspective and no longer seek “truth”; my vision is a synthesis of all disciplines, guiding me to manifest a reality that matches my desire to evolve. I create mesmerizing environments for public spaces, intimate interpersonal interactions through astrological readings, and meaningful spaces for individual and communal development through talks and workshops. I enjoy directing and producing diverse projects, from complex multi-media installations and public art commissions to artists’ books, textile design, and community workshops – thus, I see no boundaries between the applied and fine arts. I thrive in situations where I am working with limitations and constraints, creating opportunities for innovative projects that serve communities for years to come. I enjoy challenging myself with new technologies and materials, discovering new ways of manifesting my ideas to fit the needs of the location.