Location: ArtLab, 140 N. Harvard St., Allston
Perennial Philosophies is a sculpture by Loeb/ArtLab artist-in-residence Jordan Weber. Weber is a sculptor and environmental activist who works at the cross-section of social justice and environmental racism.
Installed in October 2021, this public artwork responds to the twin pandemics of 2020: COVID-19 and racial injustice. The sculpture pays tribute to Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history and cum laude graduate of Harvard University 2020. Weber's sculpture contains an excerpt from "The Hill We Climb," a poem written by Gorman for the 2021 Inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden.
Weber shares, "This work intends to create a moveable, communal space for decompression to regain strength for our Black, Brown, and Indigenous existence at Harvard University. A space built specifically for us. I used black obsidian, a stone traditionally used to shield negative energy, protect the body, or practice food sovereignty as seen in pre-colonial Americas. I ask you to sit together, or as a whatever singularity, in full consciousness of life breath."
The black obsidian boulders were sourced from Minneapolis in solidarity with his own Deep Roots activism in the city during the George Floyd protests.
This public artwork was commissioned with support from Harvard University Committee on the Arts (HUCA) and was made possible with the support of the Johnson-Kulukundis Family President's Fund for the Arts.