The American Dream Project: For the Press


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For Immediate Release – July 21, 2016

The American Dream Project
Artists LigoranoReese Melt The American Dream

1 PM, July 25, 2016, Independence Mall, Philadelphia

Independence Plaza Site Rendering Philadelphia

Artists Rendering, Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA

“Melting ice as a material is a perfect medium to show the disappearance of equality and opportunity. This is not specific to one political party. Our country is in crisis.“ – Nora Ligorano

On Monday, July 25, artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese unveil a 4,000-pound sculpture carved in ice of the words The American Dream on the grounds of Independence Mall located between Market and Arch Streets, across from Constitution Center. The American Dream Project is a public artwork spanning the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention, and focuses on issues of equality and the erosion of opportunity in society.

The artists intend for The American Dream, measuring 30 feet wide and 5 feet tall, to melt away. They photograph and film the disappearance, streaming it on the internet in real-time ( LigoranoReese recently exhibited the twin to this piece in Cleveland, during the RNC. The artists partnered with the City Club of Cleveland for a symposium at Transformer Station, “The American Dream at the Intersection of Art and Politics.”

In Philadelphia, poets and writers have been invited to an on-site residency, posting their thoughts on the vanishing American Dream, as it vanishes before them  and before the online viewers on the project’s website. Throughout the day invited guests will have the opportunity to read poems and texts on the state of America through a megaphone along side the sculpture.

“We make art for social change,“ Marshall Reese says.  “This artwork is a mixture of sculpture, installation, performance, and an internet event. We combine all of these media to activate a public space, to discuss and inspire people to think about how society has changed over the past three decades and to find ways that can confront and offset that.”

This project follows earlier ice sculptures by the artists, which they call “temporary monuments.” In 2008, the artists brought ice works of the words Democracy to the political conventions, Economy on the 79th anniversary of the Great Depression, and Middle Class in 2012 in Charlotte and Tampa. These ice sculptures materially underscore the impact of political and social ideas that often escape the public’s attention.

Tweeting @melted_away, #publicart, #AmericanDreamProject #meltingopportunity, #July25  Instagram @meltedaway, Facebook: Ligorano Reese


Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese collaborate as LigoranoReese. Their artwork examines society through images and sound from print, television, internet, and radio. They have exhibited at the Biennial of Contemporary Art, Cartegena, Colombia, Catharine Clark Gallery, Kent Fine Art, Portland Art Museum, MIT MediaLab, Museum of Arts & Design, New York Public Library, and Lincoln Center. They have received funding from the Jerome Foundation, Puffin Foundation, NYFA, NYSCA, NEA, and been in residence at the MacDowell Colony, Montalvo Arts Center, and Djerassi Resident Artists Program. They are represented by Catharine Clark Gallery.