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Second Juror's Review

Juror: Julian Hunt

Joseph Choma - INFLEXION

And there had never been a monster the size of America. Every time it turned over in its sleep it entrained disasters that would roll through villages. There were blunderings and perversities and calculated cruelties; and there was no self-knowledge – none.

--Martin Amis

This quote came to mind on looking over Joseph Choma’s entry. I was at the same time reminded of the work by Robert Smithson on a remote edge of Salt Lake, Utah: Spiral Jetty, and could easily imagine an enlargement of this proposal at a remote site in Iraq.

The suggestion of both the spine of a primitive reptile and very large tectonic shifts very neatly enclose the enormous forces that have converged over the people of Iraq.


Cat Soergel Marshall - Light Trails

Again, a response in the form of an intervention in the landscape: Beautifully drawn by hand and at the same time requiring the latest technologies and advanced ideas about the repair of the frayed edges of the social fabric, the proposal is both elegiac and entirely feasible as a small intervention that could be scaled up to even regional proportions without becoming an oppressive imposition.


Matthijs Boer - Cycle of Life
This proposal represents the intellectual rigor of the architectural profession at it best and the important role that architects play in defining civil society. Easily the most thoroughly conceived and elaborated proposal (read the associated documentation), this work of Matthijs Boer defines the labor of nation building as a careful exercise of observation, professional analysis, and well-established institutional responses to healing the trauma that all societies experience in the long and uncertain unfolding of history.

Matthew Slaats - Enemy Cemetery (Working Title)
A deceptively simple yet powerfully evocative gesture that brings to mind a complex of associations. Even the tentative nature of the title suggests the unnerving implications. Anyone familiar with old cemeteries will know that the grounds become saturated with human remains and any scratching of the earth reveals an unsettling mixture of dark soil and bone fragments that look like sharp stones. Iraq is among the most ancient of settled lands and as such a land of a multitude of successive generations in which the dead far outnumber the living. The image of an excavation paired with a mound of debris brings to mind the form of the bomb crater and the rubble pile, the burial trench and the victims before their execution.

Christina Calbari - Imprisoned
An equally dark evocation in simple ink drawings. The highly elaborated techniques developed to skirt established legal definitions of torture are here rendered as a universally understood form of disorienting blindness, suffocation, helplessness, isolation and fear. These must be exactly the responses of civilians to the extreme violence and unpredictability of warfare in their midst.

Andréa Stanislav - Iraq Memorial
What might otherwise be overlooked as a naïve for the simple inelegant drawing, could in fact be a quite dramatic and effective reminder of any occupant of the White House looking out the south windows. Despite its overexposure as background kitsch to every visitor to Washington, this monument is elegantly mute as it is huge. My personal bias against mediating text on monuments is here overcome by the ephemeral nature of the fleeting images of innumerable names spiraling down the grainy surface of the worn marble blocks, much in the same way as the living briefly inhabit the earth.

Sayoko Yoshida - Requiem
Overcoming the somewhat fractured English of the descriptive text reveals a carefully conceived and elegantly restrained proposal. The small scale belies the largess of its scope. The subtlety of the proposal is first revealed in a sequence of photos of a drop of ink in water that instantly recalls the form of the most lethal weapon of mass destruction. The sound of the drops evokes both the quiet passing of time, counting up, and counting down.

Maureen Drdak - The Killing of Lions: An Iraqi War Memorial
A beautifully drawn and beguiling set of drawings evoking a deep cultural memory of a time when human civilization was just beginning to confidently record its mastery over the animal kingdom. The elegance of the drawings belie the nature of our civilization now when the domain of lions has been reduced to the perimeter of their cages.

Holly Wong - War on Terror?
The painterly imagination of flame, fire and the millisecond after the bomb has exploded has no other equal. A fine example of the mural tradition in painting, the dense canvas of dark shards in a twisted field of intense reds and yellows that shred the composition evokes the visceral horror of this particular type of violence.

Julio Ramirez - Sandstorm
The conceit of a sandstorm as the driving metaphor for this proposal is beguiling as it is somewhat beyond the skill of the author. Here begins the ragged edge of proposals that did not quite meet the requirements for coherence, relevance, precision, and aptness. The text for this proposal somehow did not quite translate and the tilted planes did not quite evoke the amorphous form nor enormous scale of a sandstorm. However, some of the imagery (“elongated screams of pain” ?) could have very effectively suggested the streaking trails of cluster bombs or phosphor canisters so recently in the news.

 


 
       

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DeLappe