Monuments can take on so many shapes. I want to cover two monuments that have different contexts surrounding them.
First the Maya Lin Vietnam memorial:
Maya Lin was finishing up her architecture degree and the class assignment was to design the memorial and it was optional to submit it to the actual contest. She submitted the proposal on one of the last possible dates. The selection process was anonymous and after she was chosen there was some uproar after they discovered that Maya Lin was of Asian descent.
Rachel Whiteread made the first Holocaust Memorial in Austria. She was criticized for being making a memorial for a culture and people that she had no blood relation too. She is a British born artist, whose visual vocabulary is very similar to the memorial. The memorial is a silent library to commemorate the loss of all the people from the Holocaust, whose voices can’t be herd but are still heavy on the consciousness of those affected.
I thought it was interesting to think about how the maker of an object/space has such an effect on our perception of it. Both artists’ personal connection to the memorial plays a part in how the public contextualizes the work.
Is it possible to make a memorial where the artist has a minimal personal connection? Are there double standards upheld for public artists versus other artists?