In September 2017, Curbed DC reported that an organization, called Catharsis on the Mall, planned on bringing a 45-foot-tall nude sculpture, called “R-Evolution,” to the National Mall. If approved, the steel, LED-lit sculpture would have stood by the Washington Monument from November 2017 through March 2018. The goal was for the sculpture to “challenge the viewer to see past the sexual charge that has developed around the female body,” according to the Indiegogo campaign.
Recently, the National Park Service (NPS) decided to approve the placement of more than 30 temporary structures for events planned from November 10 through 12, but did not approve the “R-Evolution” sculpture. A planned memorial temple was also not approved.
According to National Mall and Memorial Parks Public Affairs Officer Mike Litterst, the plan to sit the sculpture and memorial temple on the National Mall for months on end was “significantly in excess of the five-day time restriction set forth in the National Mall Turf Management Guidelines and would likely cause significant damage to and require replacement of the underlying turf and soil.”
According to the “R-Evolution” Indiegogo campaign, which raised over $65,900, the organization is evaluating the option for a legal challenge, but does not expect the statue to be installed either way.
The events that were approved include a temple and prayer wheel burn ceremony, “Abraxas Dragon and Solar Beatz mutant” vehicle stages, Water Temple Pyramid, and dozens of other artworks and offerings.
The goal of “R-Evolution,” according to the Indiegogo campaign, is “inspire dialogue among women, and people, of all bodies, ages, races, religions, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations about the role of art and community in nurturing the heart and healing, and in turn making social change.” With this, the theme for this inaugural event is “Nurturing the Heart.”
The “R-Evolution” statue that was planned for the National Mall was previously seen at Burning Man in 2015, created by artist Marco Cochrane. The recent efforts to bring the statue to D.C. are not affiliated with Burning Man or its regional events.
This project is sponsored by the nonprofit arts organization Flux Foundation.