A GC alum and friend of the art department forwarded information to me about a monument that I was not aware of, and I thought I would share: To The Struggle Against World Terrorism.
The informational website for the "911 Teardrop Memorial" as it is sometimes called, states that the sculpture was a gift from the Russian people to the United States. The artist, Zurab Tsereteli, designed the monument, and after being fabricated in St. Petersburg, it was erected at its site in Bayonne, NJ, and dedicated on September 11, 2006.
I recall that immediately following 9/11/01, many artists responded to the tragedy by making new works. Several curators, too, developed 9/11-inspired exhibitions to showcase such creative and moving pieces. In fact, there is a 9/11 memorial in Georgetown College's public sculpture collection consisting of objects set in place in remembrance of the event. Clearly, what happens in the nation's political arenas affects the arts.
When searching for more information about the teardrop monument, I discovered that apparently, it was at one time rumored to be a hoax. While I was not able to delve too deeply into the reasons behind the questioning of the monument's existence, I would conjecture that because the mainstream media did not pick up the story and widely broadcast it, the memorial never became commonly acknowledged.
The national news reports Monday morning about terrorist plots and the commercial airline industry being a target sets me on edge (again); however, I also am considering the timing of the reports. With so many important mid-term elections taking place and the balance of political power being part of the equation, I try to remember to question everything. Learning about art helps me in this process because it enables me to look at images and texts critically. I understand that what I see and hear can be--and sometimes is--manipulated. Messages can be mixed or unstable. It is my duty to question what is presented; I value the chance to exercise my right to make informed decisions. That's part of what makes today, Tuesday after the first Monday in November, 2010, extra special. I hope all you art lovers out there agree.