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Lesson Plans

Maya Lin

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Wed, 15 Oct 1997 03:04:10 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 97-10-12 21:59:00 EDT, you write:

<< After taking a closer look at Maya Lin's "Vietnam Memorial" and
learning about the difficulty she encountered in trying to meet the public's
expectations of the arrangement of an artwork as public as this and of
being forced to compromise, I thought about the rights that artists have
(or don't have) in trying to preserve their original design. >>

Just so you know, there is an EXCELLENT video out on Maya Lin. I totally
stumbled across it at the library, and it won the Academy Award for Best
Documentary in 1995. It is a fabulous film. I watched it by myself to
preview it, and found myself pounding the desk and shouting "right on!" when
I saw this then-21 year old woman standing up to unbelievable flak from all
sorts of authority figures, laying heavy pressure on her to change her
design. James "Let's Sell The National Parks To Lumber Companies" Watt even
hired a team of designers to *redesign* her monument! He was going to make
it white!!!

A bit further into your comment about the artist's rights to their individual
designs... I personally cringe when I read or hear about the "miniature"
Vietnam Vet memorial that travels the country. It makes me ill. Yes, I
understand there are people who can't travel to see the real one, but that's
life! The miniature totally parodies the artist's concept of scale,
orientation, material, context, meaning, and location. I saw a picture of it
in the paper and it seemed like a joke! (It was just in San Francisco at a
re-creation of a 60's event.) My biggest recollection of the many times I've
visited the original in Washington, D.C., is the sense of being buried under
a sea of 59,000 names, as they began towering over my head. The miniature
is, like, five feet tall. It does complete injustice to the original work.
I feel it is criminal. Why is there this need to build "recreations" of
things totally out of their original contexts?

Duffy Franco
Norwalk, CT