unmonumental (Ingraham)
happy new year #unmonumental (Ingraham)



(2008 – ongoing)

unmonumental was born in the Spring of 2008, the day I visited the Unmonumental exhibition at New York’s New Museum. The exhibition set out to explore fragmented forms, torn pictures… crumbling symbols and broken icons. Afterwards, back on the street, I shot a photograph of a junk-filled shopping cart and posted it on twitter with the hashtag #unmonumental. I began shooting and posting photographs of discarded objects on a daily basis. This led me to re-read Robert Smithson’s essay “Monuments of Passaic”1 and to re-visit George Brassaï’s “Involuntary Sculptures”.2 What began as one-off twitter commentary grew into a personal exploration of found objects and street photography.

The unmonumental series has since grown into a project of monumental proportions. I shoot and immediately distribute my photographs as real-time communiqués across social media platforms that also serve as archival receptacles. Inadvertently referencing Modernist, Minimalist and Postmodernist tropes, the found objects of unmonumental reflect the ever-shifting formal concerns of art and the rich feedback loop between artists and the streets of New York.

Follow unmonumental on Instagram (#unmonumental)


1) Smithson, R. Monuments of Passaic, Artforum, December 1967.

2) Brassaï, G. Sculptures involontaires, Minotaure, n° 3-4, déc 1933.


See also:

The Highlights, Lance Wakeling (October 2009): Voluntary Sculptures: Photographing the Unmonumental



Beauty Is in the Streets,” Art21 Magazine, Mar/Apr 2015 Issue: “Ruin”


2nd edition (2016) available at ISSUU

JANUARY 2, 2016

The 2nd edition of the unmonumental book is now up: new and improved, available to read online (click ‘full-screen’) and/or print-on-demand (click printer icon) – includes some new images and additional text along with the original essay by Tom McGlynn (about 54 pages):

The 1st edition (Oct 2013) is still for sale in hardcover and ebook on blurb or via iTunes


Gallatin Galleries, NYU: November 5, 2015 – January 26, 2016


unmonumental 1

Joy Garnett, Gallatin Galleries, NY

PRESS // 2015-2016

HuffPo-unmonumentalThe Huffington Post (March 22, 2016) Tracey Harnish: unmonumental: Joy Garnett Walks the Streets of New York

Musée Magazine (November 2015): New York, I Love You, But… At NYU’s Gallatin Galleries  PDF




https://i1.wp.com/www.version.org/images/v.png  Version (2009): Assemblies | Joy Garnett | unmonumental