Respecting the past, Building the future

Paul Ramírez Jonas’ ‘Eternal Flame’ on View at Socrates Sculpture Park

For Socrates Sculpture Park’s multi-part MONUMENTS NOW exhibition, artist Paul Ramírez Jonas has created the installation, ‘Eternal Flame.’

From a distance, ‘Eternal Flame’ resembles a traditional obelisk monument sculpture – but upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that each of the five facets around the base of the structure contains a functional barbecue grill.

Ramírez Jonas considers cuisine to be a cultural eternal flame that persists across time and geographic distance. There is always a cooking fire lit somewhere on this earth, a family gathering around a table to eat, and a person reminded of a place or moment through tasting a familiar dish. His monument is intended to foster cultural cohesion through communal preparation and consumption of meals.

In this time of social-distancing, cooking and eating has become an even more important daily ritual for all of us, while sharing recipes has re-surfaced as a vital form of caregiving currency.

Drawing from this ethos of cuisine as community-builder, the ‘Eternal Flame’ grills were officially lit and inaugurated on August 11th by five local Queens chefs. Each chef prepared a dish of personal cultural significance to them and then partook in a socially-distant barbecue feast.

While the grill is not currently open for public use, a video documentary of the inaugural barbecue is to be released in the coming weeks.

You can find out more information about Ramírez Jonas and ‘Eternal Flame’ here.


Photos: Richard Khuzami



Anna de la Rosa is a rising senior at New York University majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has extensive experience in writing, editing, and strategizing for many digital and print publications as well as social media platforms. She is currently writing a newsletter called analog.

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