Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Simply Exquisite

I've come out of estivation. Amazing.

Many of my friends know that I'm a die-hard architecture fan. (No, really. Consider the fact that I've dragged my husband to Bear Run, PA in late winter, driving through a hailstorm no less, just to see Fallingwater on a private tour, people. Then there's the trekking all over California for Wright and Greene & Greene houses or buildings... Or how about the architecture tour of NYC, of my own making from the AIA guidebook, the Marzie walks your feet off tour? When I say I like architecture, I ain't kidding. Trip to Barcelona? Forget seeing Barça play. Give me some Gaudí. World Cup in Brazil in 2014? A chance to see Oscar Niemeyer's work live.) Anyway, as a fan of architecture, I've been fascinated by the work of Maya Lin for decades, ever since she won the Vietnam Veterans Memorial competition while still an architecture student at Yale. I was utterly fascinated by her. Both because of how well she forged ahead, in spite of all the controversy, and because she was so close in age to me and I couldn't fathom how someone my age could be so poised on a national and international platform. And, of course, I thought her designs were so impressive, so well thought out, so thoughtful of what they were to represent. From the simplicity of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC to the elegant concept of The Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery to the impressive African Art Museum (I love African art, too, btw) in New York, I've followed her work with great enthusiasm. 

At present, Maya Lin is working on what she calls her last memorial. It is the ultimate conceptual art project. It is a memorial to planet Earth. I cannot say enough about it, or thank the Cornell Ornithology Lab enough for alerting me to its very existence. I could spend hours on this website. In fact, I have. (Ironically, the very first dot I clicked on was Giant River Otters...)

The installation of What Is Missing is touring in its ever diminishing world. While not everyone will get to see it in person, you can participate on the web at What do you miss in the natural world in the last thirty years? Frogs croaking at night? Fireflies that look like stars come to earth in the summertime? Bachelor's Buttons in your garden? Naturally ripe and flavorful tomatoes? Rivers frozen in winter? Meadowlarks, Buntings or Robins making it as far south as you are? Tell Maya Lin your story.

And those of you who say, oh, it will be so depressing, please, by all mean, go to What You Can Do

Do Something.

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© Bright Nepenthe, 2012

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