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Glenn Ligon

New York City Housing Authority rendering, ca. 1960. Center: McKinley Houses (formerly Forest South Houses). Top left: Forest Houses.

AT A CONFERENCE ON MULTICULTURALISM a long time ago and far, far away, the critic bell hooks declared, “Love will take you places you might not ordinarily go,” and, indeed, it was Love that propelled Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn to locate his Gramsci Monument, 2013—the fourth and final iteration of a series of artworks dedicated to major writers and philosophers—at the Forest Houses in the South Bronx, a New York City Housing Authority complex of fifteen high-rise buildings encircling a vast, albeit ill-maintained, green space. It was not love of the projects per se, however, that led Hirschhorn to get down uptown, but his love for what he has called the “non-exclusive audience,” one that might be encountered in urban areas outside the confines of galleries and museums, such as those operated by the Dia Art Foundation, which sponsored his installation. Perched atop a

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