Archive for the 'Memorials' Category

Question

It is not unusual that war memorials don’t function as well as they are intended to. Often people just walk past them and ignore them. “Are war memorials to fallen heroes really ignored because people don’t want to honor the fallen? Or because they don’t want to think about the horrors of war?” Probably the last one right? So how do you inspire your audience to want to think of war? That’s the question of today.

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Meeting with Anders Hög Hansen

NOTES

Why do societies build war memorials?

There is often a need to freeze history, to be sure that people will remember what has happened. Stone monuments stand forever, and are meant as eternal reminders. An example is the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, which are meant to remind about the wrong doings of the own nation. Such memorials can also be seen as a way to resurrect a brushed reputation, and to be reconciled with other nations or groups of people. It’s a statement of taking responsibility of its own actions.

What are generally the important qualities of memorials?

The special aura of the physical place, which can feel sacred or holy. The monument has a great authority that can be difficult to achieve on the web.

Are there any problems with memorials?

It’s fairly common that people are confused about the purposes of the memorials, or if they have some worth-while functions.

What is the difference between a monument and a memorial?

A memorial can be a monument but can also be a procedure of some sort. A monument needs to have been created by an artist. It is a unique piece, which gives it authority. A memorial should reflect on history.

Where can you draw the line between memorial and community on the memorial subject?

Good question.

Reading tips:

– “Texture of Memory” by James E. Young

– Esther Leslie

– Andreas Huyssen

– Check the museum world for research concerning physicality versus the webb

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Examples of poetic Memorials

biopresence.jpgI like this. By using a specially developed coding method, the artists encode human DNA underneath the DNA of a plant cell, without affecting the resulting tree in any way. So, the deceased person’s DNA will live on as an integral part of the tree. An apple tree is used. A living tombstone and poetic if you can identify with your DNA code.

pepparholmen.jpgThis one also. (The winner) It’s a virtual memorial connected to a light installation at Pepparholmen. When someone visits the virtual memorial, a light-pole on the island is turned on only to slowly start fading away after a while.

Both memorials emphasize physicality – that there should be some kind of specific physical space dedicated to the memory of the deceased. Why is this important?

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Functions of Memorials

THE HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL IN BERLIN

Download: holocaust_memorial.doc

holocaustmodel2.jpg

So what exactly is a war memorial and what should be it’s foremost functions? Maybe one of the most important functions should be to help moving forward in the healing process. To be able to make sense of the past, make peace with it, and bring us into the future. And  maybe in order to heal, a war memorial needs to invoke public discussions and controversies.  

This was what architect Peter Eisenman thought when he designed The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. When the memorial finally unveild in May 2005, it had already been raising questions for public debate for 17 years. And still, it continues to do so. 

The Holocaust Memorial consists of an entire city block covered, seemingly haphazardly, in huge concrete blocks. Some of the steal pillars lay low to the ground, while others stand upright, the tallest reaching a height of 4.7 metres. The 2,711 pillars, planted close together in undulating waves, represent the 6 million murdered Jews. The Memorial in itself is merely a symbolic sculptural construct. It is obvious that it is not required to construct complex sculptures in order to generate a vast amount of media attention, discussions and controversies. 

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Mydeathspace.com

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Mydeathspace.com is a site, or a virtual cemetary, where deceased members of the community myspace are commemorated. Or well, not really: 

“It was never my intention of creating a memorial site,” Mr. Patterson, a 25-year-old San Francisco paralegal, said, though his Web site has been sometimes incorrectly lumped in with a growing number of spaces for online mourning. “Sure, it says to be respectful on the front page, but I didn’t want to create another Legacy.com or Memory-of.com or one of those sites,” he said, referring two other death-related domains that, unlike MDS, are devoted to paying homage to lost loved ones.

Instead, Mr. Patterson said he wanted his site to be a wake-up call to young people. “I wanted kids to read about people their age dying in drunk driving accidents and then not have that fourth or fifth drink that weekend when they’re attending a party. … Teens think they’re invincible. Looking through the hundreds of deaths on MDS shows you they are not,” he said.

For each death MDS features, it posts an obituary, a photograph, and visitor comments about the death, along with a link to the dead person’s MySpace profile. Also available on the site is an interactive map of America, allowing visitors to find information on deaths in any region of the country by clicking on the skull of their choosing. All the deaths posted have been submitted to Mr. Patterson via email, many times by family members and friends. Patterson says he receives an average of 5-10 notices each day.

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