September 11, 2007

A September 11th memorial.

"The Sphere"

This sculpture was intended by the artist Fritz Koenig to represent world peace. Koenig called it "Gro├če Kugelkaryatide" -- or "Great Spherical Caryatid" -- but it's known as The Sphere. It stood for 3 decades in the plaza between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and on September 11, 2001, it survived the destruction of the towers. Showing its unrepaired damage, it now stands as a memorial to those who died 6 years ago.

I had not gone looking for this monument. I barely remembered it and didn't know it it had been installed in Battery Park, next to an eternal flame, pending the completion of the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site. I came upon it by accident, after a trip with two visiting family members to another monument about freedom.

Statue of Liberty

4 comments:

Stephen said...

Beautiful pix, Ann. Koenig's ruined Sphere imparts a nearly painful poignancy when added to the Manhattan skyline and Lady Liberty. "Barely remembered"--hopefully not for long.

(Tucked beneath a staircase in a San Francisco office building is a smaller work by Koenig that's hardly noticed by anyone: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63946540@N00/110079557)

Pogo said...

Like many, I saw in the damaged sculpture a metaphor on how my views changed after 9/11. The real world shown is less beautiful than the idealized vision, but it is real, I cannot pretend away the evil among us, yet I can live with its flaws.

reneviht said...

Is it acceptable for me to say that "caryatid " is basically a piece of sculptor's/architect's jargon, or is it common enough in other subjects that most people know what it means on sight?

For that matter, is "Spherical Caryatid" a metaphor, or is there some other meaning? I'm guessing the artist didn't want homeomorphic equivalence.

blake said...

I don't see how it can be a caryatid either. Even going back from its literal meaning to its origins, I don't get it.

I do like it though. As Pogo points out, it's a serendipitous metaphor.