Drawn to Redraw
Drawing 6' x 6', Video Installation (forthcoming)
in collaboration with Kadambari Baxi
Drawn to Redraw redraws existing works of architecture making visible histories otherwise hidden, obfuscated or ignored. By incorporating and extending the logic of the project at hand, the resulting drawing plays off the design intentions of the original but charts a radically alternate course.
The names of the dead from the attacks on September 11th, 2001 ring the perimeters of the two memorials at the base of the former World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan. The memorial is redrawn and expanded to include the names of Afghan, American and Iraqi casualties — both civilian and military — following the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. The names are assembled in rows along a spiral which traces the perimeter of the memorials while extending underneath them. The architecture of this new space is not explicitly drawn, the accumulated names define its contours.
In the first spiral, the American names line the floor while those of the Iraqi casualties run along the ceiling. The two streams of names are derived from existing databases of casualties. Because the data is unaltered the contrast between the accuracy of one list and the other is made apparent. While a US name will contain a formal first name, middle initial and last name in every individual entry, individual Iraqi entries frequently encompass multiple individuals whose full names may be unknown.
The American names on the second spiral under the footprint of the second tower list are in much the same format as the first spiral, but are limited to American military personnel killed in the Afghan war. The anonymous names of the Afghan dead line the ceiling of the second spiral. Because the names of the Afghan casualties are even less clearly known than the Iraqi civilians, individual names are entirely replaced by the anonymity of numbers “One, two, three, four…” spelled out in Arabic.
As the names extend deep into a subterranean void, the two spirals begin to take on the ghostly proportions of the fallen towers themselves.