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The Phoenix Initiative Future Monument

Jochen Gerz was commissioned to develop two artworks, Future Monument and Public Bench as part of Coventry’s Phoenix Initiative; both commissions were based on a process of interactive community engagement.


Gerz described the idea behind Future Monument as, ‘one of tolerance and reconciliation, peace and change’.  The sculpture is comprised of a glass obelisk, lit from within and surrounded by glass plaques laid into the ground.


Representatives from all the different communities of the city were asked to identify nations that had previously been enemies of their countries.  The names of the most commonly mentioned nations were engraved into glass plaques and set within the paving surrounding the sculpture. As a second part of the artwork, any local group, community or organisation coming forward with 40 signatures or more, also had an inscribed plaque installed behind the sculpture.  


The Future Monument approached the members of the different communities of the city equally, and the resulting answers highlighted the diversity of Coventry's population today.


This work is part of the Phoenix Initiative Public Art Programme, curated and managed by Modus Operandi.


Jochen Gerz

Title of work

Future Monument


Coventry City Council





Image credit

© Jochen Gerz