Danh Vo’s sculpture project We The People aims to reproduce the Statue of Liberty, as it was originally created – at full scale, in huge, thin, fragile copper fragments. A few of these massive sections are at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Pritzker Garden right now.
Vo says of his life’s work, “I think of it as the range of what we can claim as freedom.” We The People will never be assembled as a single reconstituted Statue of Liberty; instead, the elements will be sent around the world as fragments, always to be displayed separately. Yet these fragments will always be part of the whole – part of this powerful symbol. Vo compares the work these dispersed pieces will do to a mission, or a virus, spreading the idea of liberty.
This photograph is of an ear, one monumental ear. I feel this was the most important part to show, today, Election Day, when we all speak up, when we all hope to be heard.