We the People (detail)


Hammered copper steel, 6 parts

40 x 330 x 60 cm (15 3/4 x 129 15/16 x 23 5/8 in.)

For Danh Vo, a migrant from Vietnam, the importance of history, both individual and collective, is fundamental. From the creative process to their public exhibition, his work questions the construction of cultural legacies and values.

We the People reproduces the various fragments, on a scale of 1:1, of the copper skin of the famous Statue of Liberty designed by Auguste Bartholdi. The result is some 250 fragments made using methods dating back to the 19th century, to be shown individually or in small groups. Presenting this symbol of freedom as an isolated piece suggests a new interpretation of the sculpture and highlights an irony of history: the Statue of Liberty was France's gift for democracy.

This sculpture, part of the Pinault Collection, was first presented in 2015 at the exhibition "Slip of the Tongue" (Palazzo Grassi, 2015), which Danh Vo co-curated along with Caroline Bourgeois.