Agency and/or Creator

Lisa A. Williamson, IDSVA





Download Full Text (4.4 MB)

Document Type


Broad Creation Date







Confederate sculptures are not mundane objects that decorate the landscape in communities across the United States, but are ideological structures to white supremacy. When the words monument and memorial are used interchangeably and weaponized, the sculptures are trapped on a hermeneutic circle that escalates racial conflict to abuse. By twisting circular interpretation to form an apeiron, represented as an infinity symbol,rigidity can be opened to accept a multiplicity of truths.

This project begins by untangling the words monument and memorial to demonstrate abuses of power and memory. By stripping away the language, the sculptures and the work they perform in public to uphold white supremacist ideology is revealed. Exposing them removes their power and neutralizes the grounds for discourse where dialogical sculptures can then be inserted.

The inclusion of dialogical public art that moves Confederate aesthetics to an apeiron engages conflict transformation that expresses the fluidity of history, memory, and consciousness. Recontextualizing public art not only indicates a cultural paradigm shift, but has the power to form a new public that accepts a multiplicity of truths. Public art that aids in the formation of a new public holds the promise of helping the collective development of a new level of consciousness, compassion, empathy, and care that is extended to others.


Aesthetics | American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Philosophy | United States History


Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts


Portland ME

Confederate Aesthetics: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).