Phi Beta Cons

Memorials to Nothingness

Academic postmodernism has profoundly influenced the arts, including memorials such as that long, black, unadorned sculpture in a hole in the ground, the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, created by a college student a quarter of a century ago.

In a somber piece Duncan Maxwell reflects on “the vocabulary of barrenness” of such memorial artists. Their work is not designed to honor the dead but rather merely to note the reality of death. They deliver “grief without glory” and communicate, well, nothing. (The New York Post)

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