The white nationalist rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia on 12 August 2017 brought renewed attention to the monuments dedicated to the Confederate States of America across the US. In recent years, several municipalities have been in the process of removing these statues from public grounds, driven by the belief that they glorify white supremacy and memorialise a government whose founding principle was the perpetuation and expansion of slavery. Those who object to the removals claim that the memorials are part of American cultural heritage.
When objects from the past sit uneasily with contemporary values, governments and individuals are faced with a choice—protect said artefacts for future generations or remove them from public display. Either option comes with a myriad of political, social and ethical implications. Object of Doubt seeks to engage in these debates, presenting new and existing works by artists whose practices interrogate the ownership, presentation and destruction of artworks and cultural heritage. It highlights the longevity of ideology versus the longevity of material, as well as the potential to transform history through transforming the objects that record it.