Missing Monuments are miniature replicas of famous buildings that do not exist. These structures may have been destroyed earlier, or they may have never even been built, as with visionary architecture that often exerts a profound cultural influence. When a souvenir’s referent no longer exists, a small replica assumes a new and different meaning. The object becomes an indispensable thing, the only material manifestation left of a memory or idea. And of course, these kinds of items make unique collectibles.
In 1996, Missing Monuments received an invitation to take part in an exhibition at the Russian pavilion of the VI International Biennale of Architecture in Venice. The installation, called A Depository of Russian Utopia, featured a mountain-like archive of flat files. In each drawer, a single sheet of one unrealized architectural project was placed for display and study. The hall next to the archive was left empty but for the whirlwind of Missing Monuments. Several hundred tiny objects, specially cast in translucent resin, were mounted directly on the walls, casting long oblique shadows.