Doug Gray on sun 22 sep 02
I saw a picture of the sculpture in the news. Personally, I have to
disagree with the statement that it was made in bad taste. It is a
powerful sculpture, well crafted, and painfully moving. Definitely one
of those pieces of art that doesn't need further explanation.
I think people have had negative responses to it because it is too
direct and to the point. Some people just aren't ready (may never be
ready) to be faced with that image. I must admit that, for me, the
images of those people jumping from the buildings have been the hardest
images to shake. Why? I'm not sure exactly but it has something to do
with the individual nature of those images, portraits almost, and the
clearly implied circumstances that brought about such an ultimate and
terrifying course of action. The photos are too real. I can't look at
them with out personalizing the image; without placing myself in the
same hopeless situation. Apparently, the sculpture, like the
photographs, is too successful in bringing the events back to life.
The past year has given me a slightly different perspective as I have
had several opportunities to reconsider my understanding of the word
surrender. Surrender isn't just a giving up or giving in. It is not
necessarily a defeat, a loss or a victimization. No, this type of
surrender, as horrific as it was, is tinged with heroism. It is an
acknowledgment of circumstances and a willful giving of ones self over
to the inevitable. And as such, I found dignity and empowerment in the
action. I think that this is what the artist was commemorating-- the
power and fragility of the human condition. That's how I read the
sculpture any way.
It is a sad sad busy, nonetheless. I hope that someday it will be
displayed again. I would travel to see it.
doug gray, sc