the spread of a mo(nu)ment
I’d like to invite your work for a project called the spread of a mo(nu)ment: would you be interested in contributing a proposal for a monument in Amsterdam?”
In 2021, author and artist Simon(e) van Saarloos and TAAK invited several artists to contribute a proposal for a monument in the public domain of Amsterdam. Each artist was asked to invite another maker to do the same. Through stories, sketches, scores, images, sound files and videos, they personally responded to hegemonic understandings of history, (hyper)visibility, safety, security, commemoration and grief - beyond pandemic circumstances.
Today, we launch the spread of a mo(nu)ment as an online collection of living memories.
Within any supposedly singular event, many happenings (dis)appear. the spread of a mo(nu)ment centralizes stories and experiences that do exist and were always already present, but not in the dominant narration of history. Temporal, small, less visible or non-fixed monuments are of great importance as critical gestures and imaginations. Thus, the proposals in the spread of a mo(nu)ment do not have to be produced. There is no need for them to prove their uniting quality, or their utility as conversation starters. They are a curated, commissioned abundance of situated commemorations: a collective sharing of work and funding.
Instead of approaching Covid-19 as a marker in time, as was the initial idea behind an Open Call in May 2020, the focus shifted from moment to monument. Fueled by the long-awaited toppling of statues, the anti-racism marches and other forms of resistance, the spread of a mo(nu)ment directs the attention to lived experiences of surveillance in a changing, Western public space.
We warmly invite you to engage with the collection of proposals, and their commemoration of joy, protest, ancestry and kinship by visiting
The website also contains the invitation to the artists, and information on Simon(e) van Saarloos’ new publication Take ‘Em Down. Scattered Monuments and Queer Forgetting (translated by Liz Waters, published by Publication Studio Guelph, and realized within the scope of the spread of a mo(nu)ment).