Dec 01, 2003

unbearable lightness

Wow. Maureen Dowd tees off on the memorial designs for ground zero, in an aptly titled op-ed: Unbearable Lightness of Memory.

The ugliness of Al Qaeda’s vicious blow to America is obscured by these prettified designs, which look oddly like spas or fancy malls or aromatherapy centers. It’s easy to visualize toned women with yoga mats strolling through these New Age pavilions filled with waterfalls and floating trees and sunken gardens and suspended votives. Mass murder dulled by architectural Musak.

The designs are reflections of our psychobabble culture, exuding that horrible and impossible concept, closure. Our grief and anger have been sentimentalized and stripped of a larger historical and moral purpose.

(The site so desperately needs and deserves Maya Lin. Not something from Lin herself, but rather from this generation’s Lin, that transforms the space and the discussion about the space the way Lin did.)