Work of the Week: Danh Vo, “We The People”
Danh Vo’s We The People sheds light on the fragility and malleability of the concepts of freedom and democracy. Created as a series of 250 pieces, it recreates a full-scale replica of the Statue of Liberty, originally constructed by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi. Vo intentionally broke up the replica, its many pieces entering the permanent collections of museums worldwide. The fragments’ diasporic trajectory recall the multiplicity of individual journeys that made their way at the foot of Lady Liberty as they reached Ellis Island. Inherently woven into its many segments is the lingering symbolism of the immigrant dream. But the stakes of that dream have changed, revealing the intricate power systems controlling the arm of democracy.