“Living Memorial”
April 26, 2005 6:48 AM   Subscribe

The winning design for the National AIDS Memorial Design Competition has been announced. Janette Kim and Chloe Town's "Living Memorial" references forest fires, and will be located in the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Walter Hood, a juror, called the design a “gutsy anti-landscape element that reflects anger, death—and eventual healing and renewal.”
posted by R. Mutt (13 comments total)
Remember kids: no grove, no love.
posted by SPrintF at 7:19 AM on April 26, 2005

Concept: good. Execution: eh. Poles? With mirrors on top? They should actually burn part of the grove and allow nature to renew it. That would be gutsy.
posted by mania at 8:23 AM on April 26, 2005

I don't get it.
posted by evening at 8:56 AM on April 26, 2005

They should actually burn part of the grove...
That was my first thought too, but somehow I doubt they would be allowed to burn down the forest every 10 years or so.
posted by R. Mutt at 9:15 AM on April 26, 2005

I like it as a place, and as art, but don't see it as about AIDS at all. This could be a memorial for any loss.
posted by amberglow at 9:30 AM on April 26, 2005

If this was placed elsewhere besides inside the "AIDS Memorial Grove," would anyone know? I actually think many of the existing memorials--the Quilt, the Body's memorial, etc--memorials that present the actual humans who are gone. Some of the losing ideas helped do that better than this abstraction.

This is interesting, on memorials in general.
posted by amberglow at 9:39 AM on April 26, 2005

I don't know; I like this a lot. Yes, it's not terribly specific, but AIDS is a lot like many other epidemics -- and anyway, it seems like it'll be beautiful: mirrors on top of poles to catch the sun, etc. I'm glad they married symbolism and aethsthetics instead of trying convoluted, clunky allegory.
posted by Tlogmer at 10:19 AM on April 26, 2005

I think it's gorgeous.

As for burning the forest and letting it renew itself -- Golden Gate Park is all manmade. It's naturally sand dunes. Nothing could renew itself there without artificial help.
posted by occhiblu at 10:37 AM on April 26, 2005

I've got a friend who cut the giant curvy metal slabs for the Vancouver AIDS memorial. No pictures (or even the slabs?) are up yet, though.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:52 AM on April 26, 2005

whoops, nevermind, it's up and there's a picture of it on that site - I rarely ever make it up to the North Shore these days.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 11:53 AM on April 26, 2005

Quite frankly, I'm a little pissed. I live in the area and am in the Grove several times a week - it's one of my favorite places. As it stands now it is incredibly beautiful and serene and is, in my opinion, the perfect place to come to if you want to pay your respects to someone who has passed. Charred poles topped with mirrors? WTF??
posted by echolalia67 at 6:21 PM on April 26, 2005

It was interesting to read the juror biographies (pdf). I kind of expected to see more of a split between art/architecture backgrounds and AIDS work.
posted by PY at 6:47 PM on April 26, 2005

I meant to include that the bios are on p.6.
posted by PY at 6:48 PM on April 26, 2005

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