The work is reminiscent of Hans Haackeís Condensation Cube (1963) as well as an opaque Kaaba. It is a very fitting commemoration of the senseless deaths of Iraqis and the Westís insatiable quest for oil, which in Adamsí work seeps like the blood of innocents.
Its wrap around schema of the Washington Monument has an affinity to Trajanís column, which is an ancient Roman monument to empire and imperial expansion. The white stone is a psychic tabula rasa on which is projected the names of Iraqi war dead akin to phantoms of death etched onto the American collective unconscious. The Washington Monument obelisk is Egyptian in origin, so it is very fitting that the names of Iraqi casualties are manifested on it.
This memorial is powerful because of its elegance, and it is a well-designed installation that is an enveloping sensorial experience achieved through poetic dichotomies of the visual/aural, light/darkness, inside/outside, and above ground/subterranean.
site-specificity of Central Park in New York City, plus its orientation
towards Mecca, gives this memorial a strong conceptual undercurrent.
The aesthetic triangulation between color, shape, and place is subtle
yet animates an overpowering visual presence.
Very strong use of form and color; although it feels slightly rhetorical by way of the ostensible nod to Brutalist architecture in form only and not materials, the glass and sunlight that hits it softens it and acts as subtle counterpoint. The design aesthetic culls myriad sources including Maya Lin and the monumental Minimalist sculptures of Richard Serra.
Very poetic use of web generated content, in which names of Iraqi war dead will fall from printers mounted on the ceiling as if they were angels or souls. I also find the workís ability to fit into practically any exhibition context very stimulating from a curatorial point of view.
This memorial uses the spectacle to undermine it. It is powerful in its ambience of mourning so thick you can cut it with a knife. Very sublime through its emphasis on the tree, which in and of itself has a variegated history, both good and bad, in the West and in Arabic culture.
A very strong piece on many levels; one being is that it is interactive and allows the viewer to become participant rather than just static spectator. In this sense, the work does not achieve formal closure. Another powerful aspect of the work is that one may first see the more affectionate phrase followed by its hateful opposite or the other way around. In either case it is simple in technique, but powerful in affect.