November 30, 2003

Memorials: not as content-free as once believed

First, a cautionary tale about the what "just-the-facts"-driven memorials (e.g., victims' tallies, 92 trees for 92 countries, etc.) inadvertently reveal about the times and people who made them. Muschamp, meanwhile, hits some right notes with what symbol-laden memorials inadvertently reveal about the politics and people who make them. Related: My post last year on how the data in the Pentagon Memorial competition guidelines substantially dictated the designs....
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Posted by greg allen at 09:22 PM | Comments (1)

October 03, 2003

Pentagon Memorial: S.N.A.F.U.

Peter Max, who presumably made art protesting the Vietnam war during his cosmic 60's hippy days, clearly found alternate paths to self-actualization, paths which lead to becoming The Official Artist for any and every sense-free bureaucracy he could find. With all the service he's given the Federal Government--including the INS and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission--perhaps he was under the impression that he didn't need to pay income taxes on that $1.1 million. [And when you realize Max's sentence was...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:21 PM

May 25, 2003

Lessons from Pearl Harbor; Designing the Pentagon Memorial

In today's NYTimes, Sam Roberts looks for Lessons for the World Trade Center Memorial" in the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. I don't know what he finds, though. Opened on Memorial Day, 1962, four years after Eisenhower authorized a memorial at the site, and more than 20 years after the actual attack, the Arizona Memorial is more the product of inertia and circumstance than of design. The Arizona remained in place partly out of respect, but also because...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2003

On Memorials Near The Pentagon

Earlier this month, the Air Force unveiled James Ingo Freed's design for the Air Force Memorial, which will be located on a ridge overlooking the Pentagon and the Pentagon's own recently announced September 11th Memorial. The design is inspired by fighter jet contrails, which I can't complain about, since my disappointment with the 9/11 memorial competition drove me to a similar--but more jarring, and far less elegant--concept for the Pentagon Memorial. What I objected to was the many designs'...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2003

Design Selected For Pentagon Memorial

And the winner is: A proposal by Keith Kaseman and Julie Beckman, two recent Columbia grads, to build 184 "memorial units" in a grove of maple trees. Interesting details: All benches are aligned with the flight path of AA77. Memorial units for those who died on the plane cantilever away from the building, while units for those who died in the Pentagon cantilever away toward it. Read the Wash. Post article, including comments by the designers and jury chief/MoMA...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2002

Irish Hunger Memorial, also at the World Financial Center

On his photo weblog lightningfield, David Gallagher published some photos and reviews of the Irish Hunger Monument which opened this summer in Battery Park City. The Monument is designed by artist Brian Tolle, whose idea was to create a 1/4 acre plot of Irish farmland in Manhattan. This patently artificial landscape recalls the British land policies which exacerbated the Irish potato famine of the 1840's. Critical response to the monument has been mixed, but I have to appreciate the...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:12 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2002

Pentagon Memorial Response -- Update

Proposed Pentagon Memorial Ramp, Greg Allen Thanks to a very talented friend--no stranger to the question of memorials--who can sketch in 3-D modelling programs the way I can...crank out a Powerpoint deck or a term sheet, I guess, I have some new depictions of the Pentagon Memorial design I created as a response to the finalists chosen by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Competition Jury. See all the entries about memorials here. It's a subject that...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2002

On on Memorials

After posting my review and response to the Pentagon Memorial Competition, I realized that in addition to writing "about making films, about art," I have written quite a bit about memorials. So I collected those weblog entries in one spot. Click here to read them. The entries include: discussions of efforts to rebuild the WTC and downtown Manhattan WTC memorials, including the Tribute in Light other memorials, such as the Vietnam Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial stories from shooting...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2002

My Response to the Pentagon Memorial Proposal Competition

I spent a couple of hours this morning thinking about the Pentagon Memorial, and I made a design in response to those selected by the jury for the Army Corps or Engineers Competition. Click here to see it. To be honest, my original idea embodied the somewhat escapist idea that we could go back to the time before the attacks, that we could undo what had happened. I wondered, "What if, somehow, Flight 77 veered at the last minute and...
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Posted by greg allen at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

On The Competition for The Pentagon Memorial

In the 45 minutes between reading about it in the Washington Post and seeing the competition exhibition itself at the National Building Museum, I had designed a memorial for the Pentagon in my head. In fact, I debated going home to document it before seeing the 70+ designs--6 finalists and 60-something "semi-finalists" from both amateurs and professionals--submitted to the competition sponsor, the US Army Corps of Engineers. (See submissions of the six finalists at the competition website.) After making...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2002

think about what you're remembering

Martin Filler would have been better off writing for a weblog. The too-long lead time/publication date on his New Republic article about the inherently dismal, unworkable rebuilding "process" forced him to write in a no-man's-land, timing-wise. Writing ahead of its release, he can only hint snidely and dismissively at last week's NY Times Magazine project that challenges the rules of what should/could be done downtown. And his thrashing of the first six stillborn proposals is right, but late. Still, he...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2002

On Maya Lin's ninja-like approach to the WTC Memorial

There's an interesting article by Louis Menand in this week's New Yorker about Maya Lin called "The Reluctant Memorialist." He talks about her early rejection of any WTC Memorial-related requests and about her recent informal advisory work for the decisionmakers (as someone who's "been through the process.") In talking about Lin's reticence and justifiable anger at the Viet Nam memorial process (which sounds horrific, frankly, and doesn't give me too much hope for New York City's efforts), it's strange that...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)