For more than 150 years, an obelisk that celebrated the genocide of Native Americans stood at the center of a plaza in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. That changed earlier this week on Indigenous Peoples Day, October 12, when a group of protesters tore the monument down with chains and ropes.
Before pulling down the obelisk, activists from Indigenous groups and their allies held a weekend-long protest at the Santa Fe Plaza. During the demonstrations, some protesters chained themselves to the base of the monument, leading to confrontations with police officers. Two protesters were arrested after the monument was destroyed, and police are looking for more suspects.
The second segment of the Obelisk, which honored soldiers who died in “battles with savage Indians,” tumbles to the ground. This is Tewa Land. And always will be. pic.twitter.com/S3KDEGogDj
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) October 12, 2020
The contested obelisk was erected in 1868 to honor Civil War Union soldiers. It was long-criticized by Indigenous groups and other locals for an inscription on its base celebrating “the heroes who have fallen in the various battles against savage Indians in the territory of New Mexico.” In 1974, an unidentified man chiseled the word “savage” off the plaque. Others have since then filled in the blank space with the word “courageous”.
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber denounced the toppling of the obelisk, though he had previously supported removing it from the plaza.
In a video address on Monday, Webber strongly condemned “the actions and violence that broke out on the Plaza today that led to the wanton destruction of the Obelisk.”
“That is not how we do things in Santa Fe,” the mayor said. “There is no place for people destroying historic monuments on their own.”
A statement by the city of Santa Fe said that there are “a variety of legal issues under review in the City Attorney’s office” regarding the obelisk. “Everyone should acknowledge that these situations are complex and the issues we’re engaged with are complicated,” the statement added.
According to a report by ABC News, a state-contracted crew attempted to remove the monument over the summer but found it too heavy to be carried out of the plaza.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Webber announced the City Council will be holding meetings with the community to address the concerns of the protesters.
“It’s clear Santa Fe and New Mexico have more than hundreds of years of pain and suffering on many sides,” he said. “The events of yesterday give us the opportunity to come together and stand up.”
For roughly half an hour, art collectors had to consider a world in which they didn’t get that Alex Katz work.
From art fairs to alternative spaces that may not be on your radar, here’s a run-down of what to see (and eat and sip) in Miami. No NFTs, we promise.
Protests are erupting across the country in response to President Xi Jinping’s strict zero-COVID policy.
What does it mean when the world’s richest person trolls us?
SCAD’s booth at Design Miami/ features glazed tiles by alumi artists Nicolas Barrera, Lauren Clay, Gonzalo Hernandez, Cory Imig, Abel Macias, and Nikita Nagpal.
Ghenie’s paintings of Marilyn Monroe are a relentless representation of a howling, turbulent tragedy, a face broken into crude sideways slewings and gougings and gorgings of paint.
Suzanne Jackson’s paintings come to life, and find their way home, at the Arts Club of Chicago.
Join the New-York Historical Society on December 9 for a virtual conversation with Kellie Jones, Rujeko Hockley, and Cameron Shaw on the past, present, and future of Black art in the US.
The exhibition sold the highest number of tickets in its 127-year history.
What feels like the right way to write about Roman Catholicism, or Christian iconography, to most art critics is heavily influenced by museum discourse, which is far from neutral.
The unique MFASA at the Institute of American Indian Arts offers mentorships with world-renowned Indigenous artists, flexible schedules, and access to one of the US’s cultural capitals.
A group exhibition at the Americas Society investigates ideas of paradise, approaching the Caribbean region as a product of the visitor economy regime.
Visual artists who incorporate psychedelics into their practices maintain a foundational understanding that there is more to reality than meets the eye.