New Monuments is my first series of NFTs. The 40 photographs take the idea of conservation and the human desire to preserve as their primary subject. I began this work in 2015 while conducting research as a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome, Italy. Rome was the perfect place to examine questions around conservation and memory, as I observed the restoration of artwork and buildings, documented architecture and art, and spent time in historical collections closely studying slides and photographic objects.
While working in this way, I simultaneously considered the notion of preservation more abstractly, turning my camera lens on people and nature of the city, looking for smaller ‘monuments’ in the form of everyday details and still lifes that, in contrast to more clinical studies, are rooted in emotion. Conceptually, given the subject of the work itself, I see this series of photographs as a perfect addition to the blockchain where they now have a permanent home.
Shane Lavalette is an artist working in photography and books. His work is included in collections around the globe, including Fotostiftung Schweiz, Musée de l'Elysée, and The High Museum of Art.