Brooks never really answers how one might design a contemporary memorial in a way that deals with power and authority in more subtle, complex ways, a memorial that celebrates Eisenhower’s obvious greatness, yet acknowledges the “paradoxes” of power: “That leaders have to wield power while knowing they are corrupted by it; that great leaders are superior to their followers while also being of them; that the higher they rise, the more they feel like instruments in larger designs.”
I wish that Brooks would go back and read Gehry’s thoughts on precisely these questions. Few architects faced with the daunting task of making a memorial in the 21st century have thought as deeply about precisely these questions as Gehry has done in the process of designing his monument to Eisenhower. Let’s be specific: The paradoxes and perils of power are addressed in the likely use of Eisenhower’s Guildhall Address as part of the memorial’s text; the tension between being superior to yet of the people is represented in a sculptural grouping that shows Eisenhower with soldiers on the eve of D-Day; and the sense of Eisenhower being part of a larger design is represented in the beautiful tapestries that surround him, connecting him to the land, the past, the people and the nation which he led.
What more does Brooks want?
- lettersfromhere posted this